England v Australia, Twickenham, November 7
Mallinder tips Lawes to excel
November 6, 2009
Courtney Lawes has been tipped to succeed at international level by Saints boss Jim Mallinder © Getty Images
Northampton boss Jim Mallinder believes that his lock Courtney Lawes is ready to cause some damage at international level after being named on the England bench for Saturday's showdown with Australia at Twickenham.
Lawes will likely make his debut from the bench against the Wallabies after his superb form for the Saints, including a menacing display in a Heineken Cup victory over Munster at Franklin's Gardens.
"I hope Courtney gets an opportunity because we at Northampton know what he can do," said Mallinder. "He doesn't seem to be fazed by anything, big games seem to inspire him and bring the best out of him. I am really looking forward to, and anticipating, a really good performance from Courtney.
"The coverage he has been getting has not surprised me because he has been improving and at the end of last season he was getting better and better and putting in some big performances. He has continued that form this season. It hasn't been a surprise and we hope he goes well."
Lawes will step in to an England setup missing several key players, but Wallabies boss Robbie Deans is still expecting the toughest examination of their attempted Grand Slam at the home of English rugby.
"Saturday is the toughest game because it's England at Twickenham - that's the way it is. "We'll have to earn everything we get. We've prepared to win the match and that's what we're aspiring to do," he said. "England will expect to win and we have an opportunity to chase that result, but we're presuming nothing.
"I wasn't aware that we're favourites and frankly it doesn't interest me. There's no balance to be struck between rebuilding and winning - we want to do well on Saturday. Our squad isn't experienced but we've selected the team to do well on the weekend. It's not as though we've left a lot at home. This is our best crew, England have selected their best crew."