Chris Robshaw picks Courtney Lawes in his England back-row for Rugby World Cup - Ruck

Chris Robshaw picks Courtney Lawes in his England back-row for Rugby World Cup

Chris Robshaw believes Northampton Saints star Courtney Lawes should play in the back-row at the fast approaching 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Throughout his international career, Lawes has played both as a second row and a blind-side flanker since his debut in November 2009. Unfortunately, injuries have limited Lawes’ recent appearances to just a 12-minute cameo under Borthwick’s charge since December.

Having captained England during the 2015 World Cup on home soil, Chris Robshaw acknowledges the significance of a well-balanced back row for a successful campaign. Nevertheless, even with his experience, he cannot foresee who Borthwick will ultimately choose to be part of the team in France.

The training squad is brimming with talented Gallagher Premiership Rugby stars like Tom Curry and Lewis Ludlam, intensifying the competition for spots in the back three.

“I think it is tough, I think with the back row there are so many options,” said Chris Robshaw, speaking at the 2023 Hankook London E-Prix.

Courtney Lawes of England continues his recovery from injury during the England Rugby Training camp at the Honda England Rugby Performance Centre, Pennyhill Park on 30 Jan. 2023 Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

“A lot of it is going to depend on where Borthwick wants to play Courtney.

“I think he is a big addition to this England side and the benefit of having him at six is you then have a huge lineout option, you have the second rows and then Courtney as real threats. 

“If you pick him in the second row you potentially lose that option. 

“Unfortunately, there are going to be some good players who miss out, who that is I am not sure yet. But everyone is going to have their own opinions.”


  • 6. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
  • 7. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks)
  • 8. Billy Vunipola (Saracens)

“Tough start” – England boss Steve Borthwick handed favourable 2023 Rugby World Cup draw

The next tournament will be held in France and the hosts will face New Zealand in a blockbuster opening match in Saint-Denis.

Chile, Portugal and Tonga are the latest teams to qualify for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

The finals work the same way as the 2019 tournament with the first two teams in each pool progressing to the quarter-finals, which will be contested by knock-out matches.

If we suppose the top-ranked teams each win their pools and the second-ranked teams finish runners-up then the quarter-finals in 2023 could look something like this…

  • Wales vs Argentina
  • South Africa vs France
  • England vs Australia
  • New Zealand vs Ireland

The 2023 tournament will take place between 8 September and 21 October 2023.

World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “The draw is a key milestone on the journey to Rugby World Cup France 2023, and the time when the tournament truly comes to life for teams and players alike.

“It enables key operational elements to be undertaken such as venue allocation, optimal match schedule development and the ticketing programme.”

Future draws will be done later:



  1. New Zealand
  2. France
  3. Italy
  4. Uruguay
  5. Namibia


  • Sep 8: France vs New Zealand (Pool A) – Stade de France, Saint-Denis
  • Sep 9: Italy vs Namibia (Pool A) – Stade Geoffroy Guichard, Saint-Etienne
  • Sep 14: France vs Uruguay (Pool A) – Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille
  • Sep 15: New Zealand vs Namibia (Pool A) – Stadium de Toulouse, Toulouse
  • Sep 20: Italy vs Uruguay (Pool A) – Stade de Nice, Nice
  • Sep 21: France vs Namibia (Pool A) – Stade Velodrome, Marseille
  • Sep 27: Uruguay vs Namibia (Pool A) – Parc OL, Lyon
  • Sep 29: New Zealand vs Italy (Pool A) – Parc OL, Lyon
  • Oct 5: New Zealand vs Uruguay (Pool A) – Parc OL, Lyon
  • Oct 6: France vs Italy (Pool A) – Parc OL, Lyon
France team to play Wales
Antoine Dupont of France calls for the mark during the Six Nations Championship match between England and France at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on March 13 2021. – PHOTO: Micah Crook/PPAUK