England lock Courtney Lawes has revealed he has struggled to put on weight, resorting to binge-eating in an attempt to pile on pounds after returning from his back injury.
Lawes has been ‘eating whatever I want’ and doing ‘a load of weights’ in order to put on size after being unable to lift weights during a six-week layoff as a bulging disk healed. He missed the opening November series clash against South Africa but returned to face the All Blacks before taking on more minutes against Japan and Australia.
“After my back injury I’ve managed get my weight back on again and I’m feeling strong so I’m ready to go,” he said, at England’s camp in the Algarve yesterday.
“Any weight that I can put on is only going to help me. I struggle to put size on and my fat never goes up regardless of what I eat. It’s not ideal when you want to be 117kg and you can’t get past 115kg. It’s just genetics. A bit bigger would be great, but I can work at my weight of 115kg.
“As soon as I start running my weight just falls off. I can’t put on size unless I do a load of weights and eat a load of stuff. You get an opportunity to do that in England camp so hopefully, I’ll put on a bit more, but I’m around the right weight now.”
There are no restrictions on what Lawes eats, as he admits he ‘piles into’ whatever he can which has helped put a stone on since November.
“I just eat whatever. It doesn’t really matter what it is. We do meal counts in terms of your fat percentage and mine never go up, no matter what I eat, so I just pile into whatever I can.
“I try to eat as many calories as I can. I don’t count the calories, I just shovel food down my throat. I’ve put on just over a stone since the Autumn.
The extra weight will help Lawes combat what is expected to be a brutal encounter with Ireland in Dublin in the Six Nations opening weekend. Lawes has played somewhat of an enforcer role before, with some of his rib-bruising hits coming under the microscope as being late shots. However, He insists that it isn’t the type of player he is.
“I’m not the kind of person who randomly takes someone out,” he says. “It’s fine lines.
“But if I am trying to get to the half-back before he passes and my head goes down before he has passed, then I am going to make the shot regardless of what the ref says.
“But I’m not going to be taking any risks at the weekend, for sure. I’m going to stay in the system. My first priority is getting our forward pack on the front foot. After that is when Sexton comes into the game.”
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