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Courtney Lawes starts for England against Wales this weekend.
Courtney Lawes starts for England against Wales this weekend.

Courtney Lawes starts for England against Wales

Courtney Lawes will move to within two caps of a century milestone for England after he was picked to start against Wales in a Rugby World Cup warm-up match this weekend.

The long-serving Northampton Saints forward will earn England cap number 98 after being selected at blindside flanker and as a vice-captain for Saturday’s showdown at Twickenham Stadium (5.30pm).

Lawes – who also has five British and Irish Lions caps to his name – was rested for England’s opening Summer Nations Series game last week at the Principality Stadium, as new Northampton Saints signing Tom Pearson made his senior international debut and Lewis Ludlam moved to 21 caps in a 20-9 loss.

England head coach Steve Borthwick announced his final 33-man Rugby World Cup squad on Monday two days after the Cardiff defeat, with Lawes heading to his fourth World Cup – two more than any previous Saint.

Ludlam was selected for his second Rugby World Cup and started last week in Cardiff, but isn’t included in Saturday’s re-match in London.

Further opportunities will follow as England complete their preparations against Ireland (19 August) and Fiji (26 August).

“We are very much looking forward to our return to Twickenham Stadium on Saturday, and the opportunity to play in front of our supporters again,” said  Borthwick.

“England versus Wales is always a special fixture, and we are pleased to be playing the visitors again so soon.”

Steve Borthwick, England Head Coach

​Saturday 12 August 2023
Twickenham Stadium, London
Kick-off: 5.30pm
15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 23 caps)
14. Henry Arundell (Racing 92, 7 caps)
13. Joe Marchant (Stade Francais, 16 caps)
12. Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby, 11 caps)
11. Elliot Daly (Saracens, 57 caps)
10. Owen Farrell © (Saracens, 106 caps)
9. Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers, 13 caps)

1. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 79 caps)
2. Jamie George (Saracens, 77 caps)
3. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 26 caps)
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 67 caps)
5. George Martin (Leicester Tigers, 2 caps)
6. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 97 caps)
7. Ben Earl (Saracens, 15 caps)
8. Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 68 caps)
16. Theo Dan (Saracens, 1 cap)
17. Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears, 49 caps)
18. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 100 caps)
19. Jonny Hill (Sale Sharks, 20 caps)
20. Jack Willis (Toulouse, 10 caps)
21. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 122 caps)
22. George Ford (Sale Sharks, 82 caps)
23. Max Malins (Bristol Bears, 19 caps)

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