Courtney Lawes has lots to learn without losing his bite

Lock will keep big hits coming but is trying to add variety to toughness

montevideo

The players of the Consur XV should beware making Courtney Lawes angry.

The tough-tackling lock has vowed to carry on flattening opponents despite the row over his tackle on Toby Flood during the Aviva Premiership final. And his Northampton side lost to Leicester, which means that the forward is still simmering.

"If I feel angry I try to hurt someone," Lawes said as England prepared for this evening's opening match on their tour to Uruguay and Argentina.

But the 24-year-old is keen to avoid being typecast as a hard man whose only influence comes through hitting opponents hard.

He was back to his destructive best for Northampton towards the end of the season after two frustrating campaigns disrupted by injury. But Geoff Parling and Joe Launchbury have moved ahead of him in the England pecking order, which is why he wants to add more to his game, particularly in his line-out play.

"I am going to keep hitting and hopefully keep carrying the ball as well but I am going to add as many strings to my bow as I can," Lawes said. "I have started very lightly to call line-outs. I am 24 now, a little bit older, so I feel I can add things to my game.

"I feel I have got a lot to give and I've got a lot of potential. I pretty much had my career put back a year and a half so I am excited about what I can do.

"It has been a really frustrating couple of years, especially when you have been touted as such a good player at one point. People are expecting stuff from you and the response is: 'He is not firing'.

"I don't think I was necessarily written off but people could see I wasn't doing the things I used to be able to. I had not played enough rugby to see whether I could influence a game. That has been coming back and I am feeling good again."

Kearnan Myall will take charge of the line-out against the Consur XV – a team made up of players from Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Brazil – but Lawes will be ready to take over at any stage. With Launchbury certain to start against Argentina in Salta on Saturday, and Parling on British and Irish Lions duty, Lawes is battling with Dave Attwood for a place in the Test side.

"Courtney is very hungry to get his place back in the team," Stuart Lancaster, the England coach, said. "He has watched Joe Launchbury come in and take his opportunity. Both he and Joe are exceptional young second-rows. There is nothing to say we couldn't play them both together."

Attwood has also started running the line-out and he enjoyed a stellar season for Bath, while Lawes shone as Northampton beat Saracens to reach the Premiership final and then again against Leicester.

"Everyone has a different skill set and Courtney has this desire to hurt people, which is brilliant. It is good to see," Paul Gustard, England's interim defence coach, said.

Not that Lawes's speciality is always that popular. Leicester's director of rugby, Richard Cockerill, was furious that Lawes was not at least sent to the sin-bin for his tackle on Flood at Twickenham but the player himself fails to understand all the fuss.

"Toby had passed the ball but his job was to come into the line and commit someone and he did," Lawes said. "If he dummies and goes and I haven't committed to the tackle then he is through the line. I just put in hits where I can."

Northampton's spirited efforts were undone by the dismissal of their captain, Dylan Hartley, for swearing at referee Wayne Barnes. Lawes is reluctant to criticise Hartley, although he does think that rugby has a responsibility to uphold standards of respect for officials.

"Whatever was said or heard it has cost him," he said. "Frustration comes in if things aren't going your way. It is easy for me because I am not the skipper. I haven't got to deal with all the lads, deal with the referee and deal with the opposition at the same time."

He sticks to dealing with opponents in the only way he knows, and if he gets angry someone is going to feel it.

England XV (v Consur XV, Montevideo, 7.30pm BST): B Foden (Northampton); J May (Gloucester), L Burrell (Northampton), K Eastmond (Bath), D Strettle (Saracens); S Myler (Northampton), R Wigglesworth (Saracens), J Marler (Harlequins), D Paice (London Irish), H Thomas (Sale), C Lawes (Northampton), K Myall (unattached), T Wood (Northampton, capt), T Johnson (Exeter), B Vunipola (Wasps). Replacements R Buchanon (Harlequins), A Corbisiero (London Irish), P Doran-Jones (Northampton), D Attwood (Bath), M Kvesic (Worcester), L Dickson (Northampton), F Burns (Gloucester), J Joseph (London Irish).

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power