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International Round-Up: Destructive Lawes catches the eye for Lions

With a total of eleven Saints currently featuring for their respective countries around the world, we take a look at all the latest from the Northampton names on the international stage...

A busy weekend of summer rugby – kicking off with the U20s Six Nations on Thursday evening – saw several Northampton players take to the field across the world, with Saints representing England Under-20s, England and the British & Irish Lions.

Thursday 1 July, 2021
Cardiff Arms Park

Saints’ centre Tom Litchfield made his first start in an England U20s shirt as the side secured a bonus-point win against Ireland to make it three from three in the competition so far. 

Both sides went into the match unbeaten and despite Ireland enjoying the lion’s share of the opening possession at Cardiff Arms Park, it was England that claimed the only points of the first-half – with the game heading into the break 7-0 in favour of the Red Rose. 

And despite Ireland’s opening points from the tee and immediate try following an England sin bin, Alan Dickens’ side added a quick brace followed by a driving maul score to put themselves top of the table after round three despite a late effort from Ireland. 

Saturday 3 July, 2021
Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg

Seven days on from the win over Japan at Murrayfield, Courtney Lawes earned his eighth Lions cap as he started the side’s first outing of the 2021 Tour on South African soil, with the lock playing 80 minutes in an eight-try team showing against Sigma Lions in Johannesburg.

Two early tries put the British touring side ahead before the clock had hit ten minutes and Warren Gatland’s side would score a third before the half-time whistle blew in the Castle Lions Series opener. 

And though their hosts, Sigma Lions, would score themselves either side of the break, a further five Lions tries – including a quad of scores for Josh Adams – secured the convincing win. 

Sunday 4 July, 2021
Twickenham Stadium

A seven-try showing would start England’s summer campaign as the side downed USA at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday afternoon – with Saints’ co-captain Lewis Ludlam making an impact from amongst the replacements. 

Eddie Jones’ side crossed the whitewash four times before the break to lead 26-3 at half-time in their opening clash of the summer; and while USA hit back after the break as former Saint Cam Dolan’s score was coupled with two further tries, the Red Rose crossed the whitewash three times themselves in the second half to hold their lead.

Ludlam would nearly get himself on the scoreboard as the game drew to a close – crossing the whitewash under the Twickenham posts, only for the score to be chalked off by the TMO; but England had already done enough, keeping their 100 per cent record against USA intact as the final whistle blew. 

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