COURTNEY LAWESCourtney Lawes is a heat-seeking missile of a tackler. Former England coach Martin Johnson once said of the Northampton lock: “You know when he’s playing because you can hear it, because of the hits he puts in which have a distinctive noise.”

If any more evidence is needed on the concussive nature of Lawes’ efforts, just look up his tackle on Jules Plisson in this year’s Six Nations match, which put the France fly-half into the middle of next week.

But the 26-year-old has more to his game than tackling alone. He has the athletic ability to also play in the back row and, at 6ft 7in, is a force in the lineout.

The Northampton man made his England debut off the bench in the 18-9 defeat by Australia in 2009 and undoubtedly would have added to his 39 caps but for injury.

Lawes was on the losing side in the 2011 European Cup final, as Leinster triumphed 33-22. But he finally got his hands on some silverware when Northampton won the 2014 Aviva Premiership final at Twickenham, beating Saracens 24-20.

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