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Lawes enjoys captaincy at Twickenham

Lawes enjoys captaincy at Twickenham

England were ruthlessly effective in their 69-3 win over Tonga, but for many, the moment of the match will be the tackle made by Courtney Lawes on Tonga full-back Telusa Veainu.

Lawes, who was captain for the day in the absence of Owen Farrell, who withdrew due to a positive Covid-19 test, ran from a long way back to stop Veainu in the act of scoring in the corner at Twickenham.

He said: “I’ve still got a bit of pace behind me when I get the chance to use it, so yeah it’s nice to be able to prove I’ve still got some wheels.

“I knew Freddie (Steward) had pretty good wheels, so I did think he’d get there.

“I just thought I’ve got to get back, see if I can help it and affect the tackle, Freddie made it really, I just finished it off.”

Lawes was given the opportunity to run out at Twickenham as captain for the first time, in a match with a capacity crowd for the first time since March 2020, making the game extra special for the Northampton Saints utility forward.

“It was amazing, obviously I’m really proud and it’s a great honour to captain England, especially with a group of lads like this, so to be able to lead us out was something to remember certainly,” Lawes said.

“I found out pretty much yesterday (about captaincy) but it was still a little bit up in the air, so I just took it as I was most likely going to be skips.

“It’s great to be back here with all the fans, it really is, the atmosphere was unbelievable, obviously we managed to get a few points at the end there, and hopefully bring a bit of entertainment.”

England ran in 11 tries in what was at times a sublime attacking display, as they entertained the Twickenham crowd.

He added: “We knew it (the game) would break up and we knew we’d be able to put our gameplan on the pitch, we really did that.

“We were a bit scrappy in places and there are certainly things to work on, but it’s a good thing and we’ll certainly look to improve leading into next week.”

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