Aviva Premiership
Lawes and Hartley injury woe for England
ESPN Staff
October 27, 2012
Northampton's Courtney Lawes receives treatment to his left knee, Northampton Saints v Saracens, Aviva Premiership, Franklin's Gardens, Northampton, England, October 27, 2012
Lawes went off with an injury to his left knee before half-time © Getty Images

England's Courtney Lawes and Dylan Hartley are fitness concerns ahead of the autumn internationals after both picked up knee injuries during Northampton Saints' loss at home to Saracens.

Neither of the pair made it beyond half-time and while Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder remained tight lipped over the extent of their injuries they will still meet up with the rest of the England squad on Sunday and then be assessed by the England medical team.

"They've done something, but we will know a lot more later," Mallinder said. "I think Lawes and Hartley are the sort of characters that if they had just got a knock and they will be running around on Monday they wouldn't have come off. Courtney tried to carry on, but he was unable to do so. You want them on the field and getting through games. It was disappointing they had to go off."

Lawes missed much of last season with an injury to his right knee, but went off in the 27th minute with a left-knee problem. Hartley took a blow just before half-time and did not emerge for the second half, though Mallinder could not say which knee the England hooker had injured. The hope is that the pair and fullback Stephen Myler, who injured a hamstring injury and came off at the same time as Lawes. Next up for the Saints is an away match against their East Midlands rivals Leicester Tigers at Welford Road.

"Courtney and Dylan join up with England tomorrow and we will have to wait for a decision whether they are rested or not for Leicester," he said. "Stuart will look to retain his starting 23 and I guess the others will be returned to their clubs. It doesn't help when you have two key England lads and Stephen Myler going off with injuries, but I thought in the first half we played pretty well into a big gale, we played some good rugby."

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