Saints expect Lawes to be fit for Six Nations

ENGLAND’S interim head coach Stuart Lancaster received a boost yesterday with the news that Northampton lock Courtney Lawes is expected to have recovered in time for the start of next month’s Six Nations.

Lawes damaged his knee in Northampton’s Premiership win at Newcastle on New Year’s Eve, but Saints boss Jim Mallinder revealed the injury suffered by the lineout specialist is unlikely to rule him out for anything more than a few weeks.

“I think he’ll be out for a few weeks. It’s not a serious one but it’s really disappointing for him. We need to look after him and hopefully he can come back fit and raring to go,” said Mallinder.

Lawes, who proved a key component in England’s Six Nations winning side last year, is among a clutch of youngsters around who Mallinder is expected to sculpt his team following the international retirements of former skipper Lewis Moody and World Cup winning fly-half Jonny Wilkinson.

England begin their Six Nations defence on 4 February with a testing trip to Murrayfield to face Scotland, followed by a visit to Rome a week later where they will take on Italy.