Boyd's happy with Saints' lock stock after loss of key duo

Chris Boyd is happy with the options he is still able to call on despite a couple of big losses in the Saints second row.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 4:49 pm
David Ribbans has been called up by England (picture: Peter Short)

Courtney Lawes has been ruled out for three months after having surgery on a pectoral problem picked up during England training.

And Lawes' withdrawal from the Six Nations squad has opened the door for David Ribbans, who has now been called up by the Red Rose.

That means Saints are without two of their key locks for some time, but they do have the likes of Api Ratuniyarawa, Alex Moon, Alex Coles, Nick Isiekwe and Lewis Bean to call on.

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And ahead of Sunday's tricky Gallagher Premiership trip to Harlequins, Boyd said: "We've still got plenty of guys who can go in the second row.

"Api's played particularly well, Alex Coles is coming on nicely and Moony is there so we're okay in that space."

On Ribbans' richly-deserved call-up, Boyd said: "He's been outstanding for us.

"We were pleased he came back to us from the last camp because I thought he might stay in there, but he's played really well and he deserves his call-up.

"Unfortunately it's at the expense at Courtney, but the club is obviously very pleased for him.

"He's a likeable fella, he works hard, he's got a competitive edge and he's a good professional.

"He's a young fella and he's on the right trajectory."

And on Lawes, Boyd said: "He could play the last two or three games (of the regular season), depending on how his recovery is.

"It's disappointing for him because he's had two or three injuries in a row now and even for a senior professional like Courtney, who has by and large had an injury-free career, it can be frustrating.

"But the thing with a contact sport like rugby is that you're never going to get through a long career without an injury setback and he'll take it in his stride.

"We'd obviously prefer him to be playing for England and playing for us, but unfortunately it's not to be."