Courtney Lawes confirms he could return to international rugby in 2025 - Ruck

Courtney Lawes confirms he could return to international rugby in 2025

Courtney Lawes has expressed his interest in joining the British & Irish Lions for their 2025 tour to Australia, even though he recently retired from international rugby after the latest World Cup.

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However, Lawes firmly shut down any speculation about reversing his retirement to bolster England’s back-row amid a growing injury crisis in the upcoming Six Nations.

The Northampton Saints legend concluded his England tenure with his 105th cap in a semi-final defeat to South Africa in Paris last month, citing a desire to prioritize family time with his wife and four young children.

Addressing the potential of a third Lions tour on Tuesday, Lawes, who played in all five Tests across New Zealand in 2017 and South Africa in 2021, expressed, “If I got another Lions call I would probably do that, yeah, yeah. I would get to complete the set, I have done two and doing Australia, which is one of my favourite places to tour, would be cool.”

Despite downplaying his chances for the 2025 Lions squad due to the wealth of back-row talent in Great Britain and Ireland, Lawes reflected on his surprise inclusion in the 2021 tour. He recalled being “pretty surprised” at making the squad, especially considering a lack of preliminary emails about his availability.

Nevertheless, Lawes started all three Tests at No 6 in South Africa after being a replacement flanker in the second and third Tests in New Zealand in 2017.

Looking ahead, Lawes, who would be 36 at the time of the first Test in Australia in July 2025, remains open to the possibility of another Lions adventure.


Andy Farrell faces numerous challenging decisions leading up to finalising his Lions squad, yet bookmakers appear confident in predicting the players destined for Australia next summer.

We found it intriguing to project a smaller squad based on the favoured contenders according to bookmakers’ odds as of April19, 2024.


  • Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland) – 1/16
  • James Lowe (Ireland) – 1/8
  • Hugo Keenan (Ireland) – 1/5
  • Tommy Freeman (England) – 4/9
  • Immanuel Feyi-Waboso (England) – 8/11
  • Mack Hansen (Ireland) – 2/1


  • Bundee Aki (Ireland) – 1/5
  • Ollie Lawrence (England) – 1/4
  • Sione Tuipulotu (Scotland) – 2/7
  • Robbie Henshaw (Ireland) – 8/11


  • George Ford (England) – 1/10
  • Marcus Smith (England) – 8/15
  • Finn Russell (Scotland) – 8/11