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Courtney Lawes makes Lions admission following Premiership triumph

Departing Northampton Saints legend Courtney Lawes has detailed his desire to represent the Lions again, despite retiring from international duty after the World Cup. 

The towering back-rower has already been on two Lions tours to New Zealand and South Africa, but he has his eyes firmly set on a third tour.

I don’t think it’s any secret, I’d love to be involved in another Lions tour,” said Lawes. “The reason I retired from international rugby is because I didn’t want to be away every couple of months, for months on end.”

“With the Lions, the tour is two months and I can bring my family out and they can have a good time. Having said that, I’m not expecting to get the call up, but if I do get the opportunity then I’ll be there.”

Lawes stepped away from England duty after the World Cup, however his form for Northampton has again put him very much in the frame for the Lions.

If Lawes was to get a call-up to face the Wallabies, it would be his third time representing the historic team, and he could add to his five test caps.

Competition is rife in the back-row though. The likes of Tom Curry, Sam Underhill, Josh van der Flier, Jac Morgan and Peter O’Mahony will all be competing with Lawes for a spot in Andy Farrell’s touring party.

Phil Dowson pays tribute to exceptional Courtney Lawes

Courtney Lawes-Credit: IMAGO

Saturday’s Premiership final not only marked the end of the season, but it also brought the curtain down on Courtney Lawes’ 17-year spell at Franklin’s Gardens.

He was an integral part of the Saints’ squad throughout the regular season, and he steered the club to their first Premiership title since 2014.

With Lawes now departing for Brive, this could very well have been the final time Lawes plays on English soil, and Saints Director of Rugby Phil Dowson was full of praise for his captain.

“How long have you got! Dowson responded when asked to pay tribute. “Loads has been written about his playing ability, and there’s people way more eloquent than me to sum that up.”

“It’s so impressive the way he’s evolved his game. He’s always had the desire and mentality to get better, but I think more importantly this year his presence and his confidence throughout the group has been huge.”

“Players look to him, and that’s just intangible. You can’t really put a figure on it, but that has a huge impact on the group.”

Lawes will certainly leave a lasting legacy at the Gardens, but he achieved his fairy-tale ending.