Saints star Lawes insists England will be relentless in pursuit of improvement

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Courtney Lawes says England will 'relentlessly pursue' improvement as they prepare for the start of the Rugby World Cup next month.

The Saints star won his 99th Test cap last weekend, skippering the Red Rose in their 29-10 defeat to Ireland in Dublin.

It was another hugely disappointing day for England, who had Billy Vunipola sent off.

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Steve Borthwick's side will now prepare to host Fiji at Twickenham on Saturday (kick-off 3.15pm) in what will be their final World Cup warm-up match.

Courtney Lawes (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)Courtney Lawes (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Courtney Lawes (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

And Lawes said: "We won't give up. We will relentlessly pursue the betterment of our team and that's all we can do."

On the defeat to Ireland, the Saints legend said: "It's obviously very disappointing.

"The thing is if we just get certain things right in that game, it's very different, it's a very different game - and they are all things that we can control.

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"But we have to be able to control them. There are obviously a lot of positives, which is great.

"If we tidy up a couple of areas, we'll be a much different team and we've proved we can hang with the best as long as we get them right.

"But it doesn't make it any less disappointing that we didn't get it right.

"We really hurt ourselves in certain areas, way too many turnovers, discipline an issue again. So we're pretty disappointed with that."

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England have seen Owen Farrell and Vunipola sent off in recent matches for high tackles.

"Split-second decisions, things happen, people want to get us on the front foot and unfortunately mistakes like that happen," Lawes said.

"People aren't doing this on purpose, it's not we need to just tackle lower.

"What more can you do? We're not trying to hurt each other as I say, split-second decisions, sometimes mistakes happen.

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"We've got to try and make the sport safe for everyone who plays and that's why sanctions like this are put into place and we got a red card for it."

England's World Cup campaign starts with a game against Argentina in Marseille on September 9.

"We never give up and that is something to take away," Lawes added. "We continue to press on, continue to try and improve.

"Last Saturday was not the performance we wanted at all. We knew it was going to be hard away from home against the No 1-ranked team in the world.

"Regardless of what happened, we found ourselves under the sticks way more than we wanted to, but it was always positive messages and on to the next job."