Injured England duo Lawes and Curry return to Premiership action
Courtney Lawes and Tom Curry, the duo who captained England in their recent five-game Guinness Six Nations campaign, are back in action on Friday night for their respective clubs, Northampton and Sale, following injury. Lawes skippered his country for their matches against Wales, Ireland and France after Curry has taken on that responsibility for the earlier games against Scotland and Italy when his fellow back-rower was unavailable.
It was April 15 when Lawes picked up a gruesome thumb injury during the Challenge Cup defeat for Northampton at Gloucester. It initially sparked doubts that the forward might not make it back in time for the upcoming England tour of Australia.
However, despite the injury drawing a comparison with ‘Frankenstein’s monster’ from head coach Phil Dowson, the 33-year-old has now been given the all-clear to feature in the closing stages of Northampton’s push to finish in the top four.
After making a quicker than expected comeback, he has been picked in his club’s back row for their clash at Franklin’s Gardens on Friday against defending champions Harlequins a fortnight after sustaining ligament and tendon damage.
Curry, meanwhile, had been sidelined since damaging his hamstring when playing for England in their March 12 defeat to Ireland. It was suggested at the time it would require a six-week recovery and seven weeks later, he has been chosen among the replacements for this Friday’s Sale game versus Newcastle in Manchester.
NORTHAMPTON (vs Harlequins, Friday): 15. George Furbank; 14. Matt Proctor, 13. Fraser Dingwall, 12. Rory Hutchinson, 11. Tommy Freeman; 10. James Grayson, 9. Alex Mitchell; 1. Emmanuel Iyogun, 2. Mike Haywood, 3. Conor Carey, 4. Alex Coles, 5. Api Ratuniyarawa, 6. Courtney Lawes, 7. Lewis Ludlam (capt), 8. Juarno Augustus. Reps: 16. James Fish, 17. Alex Waller, 18. Paul Hill, 19. Alex Moon, 20. Aaron Hinkley, 21. Tom James, 22. Piers Francis, 23. Ollie Sleightholme.
SALE (vs Newcastle, Friday): 15. Luke James; 14. Tom Roebuck, 13. Sam James, 12. Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11. Jack Metcalf; 10. Robert du Preez, 9. Faf de Klerk (capt); 1. Bevan Rodd, 2. Akker van der Merwe, 3. Nick Schonert, 4. Cobus Wiese, 5. JP du Preez, 6. Jean-Luc du Preez, 7. Ben Curry, 8. Daniel du Preez. Reps: 16. Ewan Ashman, 17. Simon McIntyre, 18. Joe Jones, 19. Matt Postlethwaite, 20. Tom Curry, 21. Gus Warr, 22. Connor Doherty, 23. Simon Hammersley.
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