England captain Owen Farrell is set to miss their Six Nations opener against Scotland after suffering an injury while training with Saracens.
In Eddie Jones’ Six Nations squad announcement press conference, Jones reiterated that Farrell ‘is the right man to lead the team’, despite calls for his removal from the captaincy role.
However, Jones has now backed forward Courtney Lawes – who led the team during the majority of the Autumn, to reprise the role at Murrayfield.
“Courtney wasn’t a leader the first time I laid eyes on him,” said Jones.
“He was a fairly laconic, laid-back, naturally talented rugby player
“And what’s impressed me about Courtney is over the six years that I’ve been involved with him, he still has that personality, but his attitude towards his rugby is far different,
“He is much more diligent in his preparation and is much more of a contributor in a team environment. He’s got all the attributes we need.”
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Carter, McCaw, Wilkinson: rugby stars reveal their toughest opponent
#1. Richie McCaw – Schalk Burger (South Africa)
MCCAW SAID: “You can come up against another tough team but never feel like you have had a tough match against your opposite. But with Burger you knew where they are going to be and how hard they play near the ball.”
CARTER SAID: “I kept looking at my All Black jersey wondering if I had a target like in the middle of the jersey or something because he kept coming for me. He was having a huge battle with our big forward pack. He just kept going. He didn’t stop. He was physical and just his leg drive was incredible. A real competitor and absolute top bloke off the field as well. His mindset was a little bit different when he was out there competing. That just made him such a tough opponent to come up against.”