Lawes back for England

Second-rower Courtney Lawes has returned to the England squad

Second-rower Courtney Lawes has returned to the England squad

First published in National Sport © by

Courtney Lawes has been confirmed in England's 23-man squad for Saturday's QBE international against New Zealand at Twickenham.

The Northampton lock, who made his comeback from a knee injury in the Saints' Aviva Premiership win against London Welsh on Saturday, has replaced Mouritz Botha.

The only other change to England's match-day squad from last weekend's 16-15 defeat to South Africa is in the inclusion of uncapped Gloucester fly-half Freddie Burns in place of the injured Toby Flood.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster will confirm his starting XV on Thursday morning but he is expected to make only one change, with Owen Farrell due to replace Flood at fly-half.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster said: "The message is clear - last week we went toe-to-toe with the second best team in the world and felt we should have won.

"Now we have a chance to take on the number one side in front of a passionate Twickenham crowd, who have been fantastic throughout the QBE internationals, and it is a challenge we will meet head on."

Lancaster believes Lawes - along with the likes of Joe Launchbury, Tom Wood and Dylan Hartley - can help England develop a hard-nosed pack to be feared in the years to come.

Alex Corbisiero is also integral to that, as he proved with a dominant performance against Jannie du Plessis in an impressive international comeback.

The London Irish loosehead prop has not trained with the team yet this week as the England medics manage his return from a knee injury but he is expected to be fit to face the All Blacks.

Gloucester prop Nick Wood, who was called up to fill in for Corbisiero in training, is among 11 players who have been released back to their clubs.

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