Mallinder’s delight as England draft in Northampton Saints’ Lawes and Hartley

Courtney Lawes will make his first England start at blindside flanker
Courtney Lawes will make his first England start at blindside flanker

Saints boss Jim Mallinder has expressed his delight after hearing Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes will be in the England team to face France on Saturday.

Hartley and Lawes join Northampton team-mate Tom Wood in the starting 15 for the Six Nations clash at Twickenham.

Pictures by Linda Dawson

Pictures by Linda Dawson

Wood has started both of the first two games, helping the Red Rose to impressive wins against Scotland and Ireland.

While Hartley and Lawes, who played in Saints’ 27-18 Premiership win at Worcester last weekend, have made big impacts off the bench.

And Mallinder said: “I’m delighted for Dylan and Courtney. They went out last week and played well, forgetting about both of them getting yellow cards.

“It’s not easy when you come back from international duty and you have to fit back into your club programme and go out to play.

“They put their bodies on the line last week and I think they deserve their call-up. I’m looking forward to watching them on Saturday.”

Lawes has played the majority of his games for Saints in the second row this season, but did start at six last weekend.

And that is the position he will be employed in for England, joining captain Chris Robshaw and club-mate Wood, who lines up at eight, in the back row.

“He does enjoy it and it’s a position where he can get around the field,” said Mallinder. “Of course he’s useful in the set piece in terms of lineouts and his presence.

“But in attack and defence it’s useful if you’ve got someone who’s athletic and tackles the way that he does.”