Courtney Lawes ‘not too bad’ after ‘weird injury’ and could play again this term

The damage sustained against Gloucester earlier this month is not structural, Northampton boss Phil Dowson has revealed.

By Press Association Published: 26 April 2022 - 2.56pm

Courtney Lawes has been labelled “Frankenstein’s Monster” because of his gruesome thumb injury, but Northampton insist he could still have a part to play this season.

Saints head coach Phil Dowson has revealed that the damage sustained against Gloucester earlier this month is not structural, but is unable to give a precise timeline for the player’s return.

It raises the prospect of Lawes being available for England’s tour of Australia, as well as the closing stages of Northampton’s battle for fourth place in the Gallagher Premiership.

“The scan revealed there was nothing broken but obviously it was an open dislocation so he’s been stitched up with a number of stitches,” Dowson said.

“It’s pretty early days and there’s nothing broken. There’s ligament damage, tendon damage, bits and pieces like that… he looks a bit like Frankenstein’s Monster! So a weird injury, but he’s not too bad.”

Lawes, 33, has produced some of the best rugby of his career over the last 12 months and is a central figure in Eddie Jones’ plans for the three-Test series against the Wallabies in July.

Owen Farrell has only recently returned from ankle problems
Owen Farrell has only recently returned from ankle problems (Andrew Matthews/PA)

With Owen Farrell’s availability this term limited by repeated ankle injuries, Lawes emerged as a popular replacement as England captain, leading the side five times.

“It would be a massive lift for us if he’s back because he’s a very good player and that helps us,” Dowson said.

“You know that when Courtney is suited up and ready to play, you’ve got a world-class six/second row in the squad.

“His leadership style is not subdued, but fairly quiet, but you know that him being there will give confidence to a lot of the people around him.”

Northampton have climbed to fourth place in the Premiership on the back of four successive victories and on Friday night they host champions Harlequins at Franklin’s Gardens.

“What this season has proved is that everyone loses to everyone and everyone beats everyone,” Dowson said.

“It’s only the top two, Saracens and Leicester, who have been consistent throughout the season. It’s very tight and it’s been very tight all year, all the way down to the bottom. It’s an exciting league.”

BT Sport Monthly Pass

Join the home of live sport for just £25 per month. Get instant access to the BT Sport app, with no contract and no BT broadband required.