Courtney Lawes won't let sons play rugby: he's explained why - Ruck

Courtney Lawes won’t let sons play rugby: he’s explained why

Courtney Lawes has told the Rugby Football Union he will not let his sons play professional rugby in the current climate.

Having experienced several injuries throughout his remarkable career, the former England captain is worried about the possibility of his children enduring similar setbacks if they followed in his footsteps.

Lawes, who is a father to four kids, including twins Otto and Hugo, and Nelly and Teddy, has expressed his concerns to the governing body of the sport regarding the wage gap between rugby players and those in other sports.

We were in a meeting with the RFU the other day and I said: ‘Look, I’ve got three boys. I’d love them to play rugby. I really would,’ said Lawes.

“But at the minute how can I tell them to break their bodies for 15 to 20 years and then go and work, go back to another job afterwards when there’s so many other sports you can play professionally and never have to think about working again once you’re done?”

He added: “It is not easy to be a footballer and I’m not saying that by any degree that we should earn as much as footballers or anything like that.

“I’m just saying it’s a tough ask to do a career like this.

“I’ve got opportunities where I can go and do stuff that I want to do but there are boys that have done this for 15 years, play for the same club, played X amount of games, broke themselves and then they’re going to have to graft to make ends meet.

“So I think we just we just all want a place where the clubs are happy, we’re happy because we are being paid more, the fans are happy, there’s more money in the game and everyone is a bit happier and it is a better product essentially.”


“I wouldn’t lie to you. I don’t think that it’s perfect by any means in terms of PRL (Premiership Rugby) and the RFU and where the players sit,” said Lawes, who toured with the Lions in 2017 and 2021.

“I think there’s a lot of work to be done, especially if we want rugby to grow going forward. And I think that a lot of a lot of stuff needs to be sorted out if we want this to be a successful game and a game that we will want our kids to play when we’re older.

“But we’re nowhere near strikes as far as I’ve heard or anything like that. I think we’re relatively happy but we want what’s best for the game, and what we’ve got at the minute is not good enough.”

He added: “I don’t want to get into the nitty gritty of it just at the minute but just what I was saying earlier – where we’ve got some of our best English players going to go and play in France now, because there’s not enough money in the Prem.

“And that means that they won’t be eligible for England. So, something’s got to give, otherwise there won’t be an England team that’s any good. Hopefully the relevant parties can come together and we can get it on the right track. But it’s going to take some time.”

Nigel Owens Reveals the Top 5 Rugby Stadiums with the Best Atmosphere

Legendary referee Nigel Owens has handpicked three stadiums where he experienced the most electrifying atmospheres during his career, surprisingly omitting his beloved Principality Stadium in Cardiff from the list.

However, Owens prefaced his ranking with an explanation:

“It doesn’t really matter what game is taking place at the Principality Stadium, there is just something special about it. It’s the way it’s built, where it is, the atmosphere that those factors combine to generate.

“Judgement Day is great, European Cup matches there are the same and obviously top internationals are on another level. To me, that is the best stadium in the world but I will leave that out of my selections below because I am, of course, Welsh and maybe a little biased!”

Explore his entire top five below

#5. Stade de France, Paris

The first of the international grounds on our list of the best stadiums in world rugby, the atmosphere in Stade de France mirrors their national team: boisterous and joyful when on the front foot, but quiet and frail when behind.

Owens wrote: “When you’re inside the Stade de France it’s an incredible stadium.

“The atmosphere is up there with the best and I absolutely loved refereeing there but the actual location of the stadium is not the best, there isn’t a lot going on around it, it’s the total opposite to Cardiff in many ways.”

He added: “I did the 2018 game here when Johnny Sexton kicked a 45 metre drop goal after 46 phases to win the match and set Ireland on their way to a Grand Slam that year. France had scored the only try of the match to take the lead in the 72nd minute and the crowd were going crazy, it was so loud and La Marseillaise was being sung.

“But Ireland were just relentless in that closing passage leading to the drop goal. People talk about the pressure on Sexton, well they want to know what it’s like refereeing at that stage of a match! You know any decision you make is probably going to decide the outcome. You can’t afford to get it wrong.

“But that stadium is absolutely rocking when France are hitting their straps. A special place to referee.”

#4. Thomond Park, Limerick

Owens wrote: “For me, few things beat Thomond Park on a European Cup weekend. That is an experience that should be on every rugby fan’s bucket list. When there are 28,000 in there for games against the likes of Toulouse, Leicester or Clermont – all of which I’ve refereed there – then it doesn’t half take some beating.”

He added: “Refereeing Leinster v Munster in Dublin was one thing, but refereeing the same fixture at Thomond Park is something else entirely. It was a very difficult game to referee because of the intensity of the crowd and the players responding to that.

“When you are in that stadium and all those thousands of supporters are singing Fields of Athenry, it really is breathtaking.”

Credit: Karmacomatic