Lawes may miss crucial French and Irish clashes

ENGLAND lock Courtney Lawes is in danger of missing the rest of the Six Nations with a shin injury.

The Northampton star had only just returned from knee damage to make his first appearance of the tournament as a substitute in last weekend’s 19-12 defeat against Wales at Twickenham. The 23-year-old has suffered a stress fracture and has been ordered to rest by his club boss Jim Mallinder.

“He will be out for a couple of weeks,” said Mallinder. “Hopefully it’s not too bad, nothing drastic. It’s a question of getting him off his feet for a couple of weeks. He’s still young and the way he plays is very physical.

“[It’s] a little bit disappointing and a little bit of bad luck. I’m sure he’ll come back stronger. He’s been very unfortunate and he’s very disappointed but he’s got a long career ahead of him.”

England are not in action again until next Sunday against France in Paris, before they conclude their campaign at Twickenham against Ireland the following week looking for revenge after last year’s comprehensive defeat in Dublin cost them the chance of completeing a grand slam for the first time since 2003.

Lawes made an impact off the bench against Wales but his one mistake proved crucial, when Wales centre Scott Williams ripped the ball from his grasp and broke away for the decisive score.

England No8 Ben Morgan has been ruled out of the Scarlets’ PRO12 game against Connacht tonight night with a calf strain.

Head coach Stuart Lancaster was forced to release Morgan back to the Scarlets against his wishes due to International Rugby Board regulations.

Meanwhile, fly-half Owen Farrell, who missed training on Wednesday through illness, was involved in yesterday’s sessions at Loughborough but wing Chris Ashton sat it out as he recovered from sickness.