Rugby - Lawes out to reclaim England spot

Northampton lock Courtney Lawes is desperate to use England's summer tour of Argentina to win the trust of head coach Stuart Lancaster and break out of a frustrating vicious circle which has left his international career on hold.

PA Sport
Rugby - Lawes out to reclaim England spot

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Courtney Lawes is looking to impress against the Pumas

Lawes was fast-tracked into the England team under Martin Johnson but, hampered by a series of injuries, he has failed to develop as quickly as the national coaches had hoped and slipped behind Joe Launchbury in the pecking order. All the setbacks mean that every time Lawes does get an England chance, he feels under intense pressure to make his mark on the Test stage.

Lawes, who is convinced he can become the best lock in the country, said: "There was a lot of pressure on me going into the France game. I put even more pressure on myself. It took me off my game and I paid the price (dropped). I was out injured for a year and it is hard when you haven't played for England for that long and you want to prove a point."

He added: "I have been unlucky so many times with injury and I have had to rebuild and try and fight my way back into the team. The one time I didn't have to do that was in the autumn of 2010 and I got player of the series.

"If you know you have the trust of the coaches, you have much less pressure on you.

"If you are trusted with the spot and you are given free rein from the start you can build. You know you don't need a really good performance. You can put the foundations down and then build on it.

"I have come through a lot of adversity to be building once again.

"I know if I get to my best there shouldn't be any problems getting in my position in the England team. I have got confidence back in my ball-carrying and I feel good."

Lawes, speaking at the Maximuscle rugby day, added: "I feel I can definitely push way beyond what I used to be. I just need to keep playing."

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