"First Name on the Team-Sheet" - England's Nailed On Starters for the 2023 Rugby World Cup - Page 2 of 5 - Ruck

“First Name on the Team-Sheet” – England’s Nailed On Starters for the 2023 Rugby World Cup

2. Ollie Lawrence

A frustrated Ollie Lawrence of England during the Guinness Six Nations match between England and France at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on Saturday 11th March 2023 | Photo: James Fearn/PPAUK.

A definitive break-out star of the 2023 Six Nations for England fans, Ollie Lawrence grabbed his opportunity with two hands and carried straight to break the gain-line. Given the start after Manu Tuilagi was suspended for a ‘forearm hit’ on Tommy Freeman, Lawrence took the chance and never looked back. It has been a whirlwind six months for Lawrence, as last October the centre faced rugby redundancy, with his beloved boyhood club Worcester Warriors entering financial administration.

Thankfully, the 23-year-old was quickly picked up by Bath, and Lawrence began to impress in black and blue, often turning his opponents the same colour with bruising carries. Lawrence came a close second, to Ellis Genge’s carries per minute record after the first three rounds of the 2023 Six Nations.


He has certainly been impactful in attack, and made his mark with the match-winning try against Wales.

An unfortunate hamstring injury against France opens the door for Tuilagi to make his England return, with the Sale Shark expected to slot into the centre against Ireland. Lawrence left on his own two feet, implying that the injury is not severe and he’ll make a comeback before too long. When Lawrence returns, expect Borthwick to give the Bath player another run out in the middle of the park, with World Cup warm-up matches being decisive moments for Lawrence to re-claim his jersey.