Courtney Lawes has revealed that he was not contacted by the British and Irish Lions before the squad announcement on Thursday afternoon.
Players who are in with a chance of representing the Lions are usually sent an email to ask if they’ll be available to tour with the side in the summer, with over 50 players believed to have been contacted this time around.
However, Lawes was speaking to RugbyPass about his surprise inclusion, and revealed that he hadn’t been told before the official announcement that he was being considered by the Lions coaching team.
How they found out 🙌
— Northampton Saints 😇 (@SaintsRugby) May 6, 2021
“I was pretty surprised, I just didn’t really have any clue. Some players got emails and things like that, but I didn’t get an email,” Lawes explained.
“I didn’t last time either, so I was pretty much in the dark and waiting to see if I would get a shot basically.
“Obviously not being fit at the minute I thought my chances were quite slim, but I’m very grateful for the opportunity. I don’t think I really worried about it too much.
“I kind of guessed I didn’t get an email either because I’m in the team, or because I’m nowhere near the team. So I just didn’t really worry too much about it.”
Experience is key for the marauding Northampton forward.
The Northampton Saints forward hasn’t played in over two months on account of a pectoral injury he suffered in an England training session in March.
Before that injury, Lawes had to undergo an ankle surgery in October, and has only managed to play four games this season. The Englishman is yet to return from injury, but will return to the pitch in late May at the earliest.
Warren Gatland clearly has plenty of faith in the versatile forward, who toured New Zealand with the Lions back in 2017, where he won a cap against the All Blacks off the bench in the second test.
While his lack of game time will be somewhat of a concern for the Lions coaching team, Lawes was confident that he could get back up to speed ahead of the tour when he returns from injury.
“I’m only a couple of weeks away from being fit now, two or three weeks, so I’ll get a bit of game time before the end of the season, which is great,” Lawes said.
“Luckily due to experience I’ve been able to come back and pick up where I’ve left off from the last couple of injuries, so hopefully I’ll continue that and I feel like I’ll be able to.”