Courtney Lawes won’t play again for England in the 2021 Guinness Six Nations championship after attack coach Simon Amor provided a Friday lunchtime update on the injury situation surrounding the 32-year-old forward. Lawes was expected to be named in the starting England line-up for Saturday’s Principality Stadium round three game against Grand Slam-chasing Wales. 

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He had even conducted media interviews on Wednesday where he had spoken about the prospect of his battle chasing Dan Biggar, his clubmate at Northampton. However, Lawes went on to injury himself at England training later that day, paving the way for Mark Wilson to return to the starting line-up and for Eddie Jones to include the uncapped 19-year-old George Martin on the bench. 

Jones was unclear of the extent of the damage Lawes had suffered when he unveiled his England team on Thursday, saying: “The first part of training yesterday [Wednesday] he slipped over. He felt something in his pec.

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Nigel Owens guests on the latest RugbyPass Offload with Simon Zebo and Ryan Wilson

“We weren’t sure of the significance of the injury so he was scanned this morning [Thursday] at the first available time and unfortunately he has got a little bit of damage there that needs further diagnosis and checking which will be done over the next few days and we will have a clearer picture of his further participation in the tournament.”

That clearer picture has now emerged with Amor providing an update from Cardiff that confirmed Lawes will not be available for the March matches at home to France and away to Ireland.

“He picked up a knock on Wednesday and that means he won’t be available for us for the rest of the Six Nations,” said Amor. “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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“Courtney Lawes is an experienced player. He brings a lineout threat and a great defensive energy. But we have got some really fantastic players, particularly Mark Wilson who is one of our work-rate players. He can really get around the field and has that energy, particularly around the breakdown.”

When England announced their original 28-strong squad for the Six Nations on January 22, Jones also revealed a twelve-strong shadow squad from which he would pick his replacements. After Charlie Ewels replaced Joe Launchbury and Jack Willis came in for Sam Underhill, England revised their shadow squad, adding Alec Hepburn, Lewis Ludlam and David Ribbans to their back-up picks on January 26.

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