Courtney Lawes makes interesting British and Irish Lions admission despite retirement call

Colin Newboult
Courtney Lawes after England's Rugby World Cup defeat to the Springboks in 2023.

Courtney Lawes after England's Rugby World Cup defeat to the Springboks in 2023.

Retired England flanker Courtney Lawes insists that he would not turn down the British and Irish Lions if they came calling in 2025.

The back-rower ended his Red Rose career following the recent Rugby World Cup, which saw them knocked out in the semi-finals by eventual champions South Africa.

That appeared to be it for Lawes in international rugby, but he admits that running out for the Lions in just under two years’ time would be very tempting.

Completing the set

“If I got another Lions call I would probably do that, yeah, yeah,” he said.

“I would get to complete the set, I have done two and doing Australia, which is one of my favourite places to tour, would be cool.”

Lawes will be 36 by the time that tour came around, so there are question marks over whether he could maintain his form.

His body has also had a tendency to break down over recent years, but the Northampton Saints forward has continued to play well when fit.

In fact, the flanker, who can also play at lock, seems to be getting better with age, but he has admitted that it will be tough due to “the amount of good back-rowers we have got now in Great Britain and Ireland”.

With Lawes targeting the Lions, it raised the thought of him potentially donning the white of England once again at some point going forward.

The Red Rose face the prospect of going into the next Six Nations without any of the loose trio that started against the Springboks last month.

Lawes is retired, Tom Curry is out for the season due to a hip injury and Ben Earl is also currently on the sidelines.

Family takes precedence

That could prompt Steve Borthwick to give the experienced flanker a call ahead of next year’s tournament, but the Northampton man wants to devote more time to the family.

“Playing for England is special to me as well,” Lawes explained.

“But playing for England you are at home for two months, then you are away for two months, then you are home and you never really get a chance to settle in and create any structure in your life for you and your kids.

“A Lions tour is once every four years and is just a different occasion. If I was to go on it, I would definitely bring the family out for the whole time.

“It is my luck we [England] have got a back-row crisis when I am actually fit. Normally I am part of the back-row crisis! I am a competitive guy, so if I am going to do something, I want to be the best.”

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