Courtney Lawes reveals tattoo meanings and how many he has - Ruck

Courtney Lawes reveals tattoo meanings and how many he has

In the realm of English rugby, Courtney Lawes stands tall as one of the foremost talents of his era, celebrated not only for his bone-crushing tackles but also for his imposing physique adorned with a tapestry of ink.

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Delving into the stories etched upon his skin, Lawes, now 35, has openly shared the narratives behind his tattoos. From commemorating parental guidance to invoking symbols of safeguarding, each mark carries significance.

Lawes confessed to an enduring fascination with tattoos, dating back to his youth. “I’ve always admired their aesthetic appeal,” he disclosed in a recent interview with TalkSport.

His journey into body art commenced on his 18th birthday, each new tattoo sparking a desire for more. “I couldn’t pick a favorite,” Lawes mused, gesturing to the mosaic of designs that now cloak his body, blending into a cohesive tableau.

Let’s explore the symbolism of Courtney Lawes’ tattoos:

Left Arm:

Adorning his left arm are four distinct tattoos. A Koi carp, emblematic of good fortune in Japanese culture, swims alongside a mask, reputedly a guardian against malevolent forces. A Samurai, epitomizing the warrior ethos, pays homage to Lawes’ competitive spirit.

A tiger, symbolizing ferocity, further embellishes his arm, a nod to his prowess on the rugby field.

Right Arm:

On the opposing arm, a Maori design pays homage to the indigenous people of New Zealand, chosen for its aesthetic appeal. Additionally, a heartfelt tribute to his parents, “I owe it all to you Mum and Dad,” serves as a poignant reminder of familial support.


Upon his hand, a modest tribal tattoo resides alongside Roman numerals marking his daughter’s birthdate—a testament to his devotion to family, as Lawes and his wife Jessica raise their four children together.


Inscribed upon his hip is the mantra: “The best of times is now,” a perpetual admonition to seize the present moment, mindful of life’s transient nature.

Chest and Shoulders:

Across his chest sprawls a vast tribal tattoo, symbolizing protection, power, and resilience—qualities mirrored in both his professional endeavors and personal convictions. Embedded within the design is a cross, reflecting Lawes’ steadfast faith.


In his remarkable lineup, Owens features three Welsh luminaries – Alun Wyn Jones, Shane Williams, and Gethin Jenkins. Additionally, he acknowledges the contributions of Lee Byrne, Dwayne Peel, and Leigh Halfpenny to the sport.

Notably, a striking facet of Owens’ chosen players is their collective leadership qualities, with the majority of the selected individuals having served as captains for their respective nations.

Fullback: Israel Folau (Australia)

Owens said: “For me, it’s nip and tuck between Halfpenny and Folau, next to nothing to choose between them. Leigh is brilliant because under the high ball and with his kicking at goal under pressure. He may not always break the line when running but puts his body on the line in defence and is a top-notch match-winner.

“But I go for Folau – only just, I should stress – because of his ability to seemingly beat his man every time he gets the ball in his hand. He’s such an exciting player and like Leigh he is one of the best under the high ball.

“It’s a toss of a coin for me… and it’s come down in Folau’s favour.”

Winger: Stuart Hogg (Scotland)

Owens said: “How can you fail to be impressed when watching Hogg play. He’s so exciting as he burst into that line and, of course, was named Six Nations player of the tournament.

“I know he’s a full-back for Scotland, but he is so quick and direct he could easily play on the wing. He reminds me a bit of Shane Williams with some of the things he does.

“When you see who is on the other wing in my team, you’ll see how they would work brilliantly in tandem.”

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Outside-centre: Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)

Owens said: “Not only is he one of the greatest centres in the history of rugby union but he’s a fantastic man off the field as well. O’Driscoll has been a wonderful ambassador for the sport and a real leader. He always respected referees and set the right example for others to follow.

“A legend of the game who conducted himself superbly, on and off the pitch.”

Inside-centre: Ma’a Nonu (New Zealand)

Owens said: “He’s another brilliant player and after every game, win or lose, he would come up and give me a hug. Ma’a has always found time at after-match functions or at breakfast if we’ve been staying at the same hotel to come over and have a chat.

“What a player, mind, too. One of the stalwarts of the New Zealand side for so many years.”

Winger: Shane Williams (Wales)

Owens said: “When people ask me who is the best player I have refereed it’s pretty much an impossible task to pick one because I’ve been lucky enough to take charge of so many greats.

“But if I’m pushed, I would pick Shane for what he achieved after coming from football at 17 or 18 years of age.

“He was in the mould of Gerald Davies in how he left defenders gasping for air as he beat them with those dazzling sidesteps. Nobody would fancy defending against a back three of Shane, Hogg and Folau, I can tell you that.”