Northampton have revealed that Courtney Lawes will require an operation to mend the pectoral muscle injury that abruptly ended his Guinness Six Nations campaign with England last week prior to their round three defeat to Wales. Lawes was all set to start for England at the Principality Stadium until an injury sustained when he slipped over at training last Wednesday.

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That mishap resulted in him getting ruled of that match as well as the rounds four and five games versus France and Ireland. England assistant Simon Amor stated on Friday: “He picked up a knock on Wednesday and that means he won’t be available for us for the rest of the Six Nations.

“It was a fall, he tweaked his pec. It’s obviously very disappointing but these things happen and we will look at the replacement after the Wales game.”

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That squad replacement will be Lawes’ Northampton teammate David Ribbans, who last weekend spoke to RugbyPass about his journey from Super Rugby in South Africa to becoming an England prospect with the Saints. 

However, while Ribbans can look forward to an exciting few weeks fitting in with Jones’ squad, Lawes is left facing an operation and a race to ensure he is fully fit to tour if selected by the Lions for their series against the Springboks. 

A statement from Lawes’ club read: “Northampton Saints can confirm that following consultation between the club’s medical staff and a specialist, Courtney Lawes will undergo surgery on the pectoral injury he sustained in England training last week. The 32-year-old lock will require a rehabilitation period of approximately twelve weeks.”

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That predicted layoff would mean Lawes would not be back in action until round 21 of the Premiership in the first week of June when Northampton face Exeter. With the Lions tour set to start with their game versus Japan three weeks later at Murrayfield, the England veteran would be racing against time to be up to full speed if picked by Gatland.     

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