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Refreshed Lawes pushes for Lions Test spot

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/06/2017 By Nick Purewal

Courtney Lawes believes he is hitting new heights that could spur him on to claim a British and Irish Lions Test shirt.

Northampton lock Lawes felt he was reaching career-best form during England's push to retain their Six Nations crown earlier this year.

But now the 28-year-old revealed he feels in even better shape as the Lions' 10-match New Zealand tour hits full swing.

Lawes knows the size of the challenge to secure a shirt to face the All Blacks, but insisted he has faced a selection fight in every England camp run by boss Eddie Jones.

"I feel I'm reaching a new level in my potential, so hopefully I can keep carrying that on," said Lawes, who will partner Iain Henderson at lock in Tuesday's match against the Highlanders.

"I think this is the longest I've stayed fit in my entire career, and I'm reaping the benefits.

"I'm really enjoying my rugby at the minute, and can't wait to get out there.

"I feel a lot better now than I did in the Six Nations. So hopefully I can continue on from that as well."

Lawes will go up against Ireland's Henderson, England duo Maro Itoje and George Kruis, and Wales' Alun Wyn Jones for a Lions Test spot.

Meanwhile, Lawes revealed the Lions toasted their gritty 12-3 win over runaway Super Rugby leaders the Crusaders on Saturday by enjoying an old-fashioned sing song in the AMI Stadium changing rooms.

Scotland halfback Greig Laidlaw got up and kick-started a rousing rendition of the tour's Scottish anthem Highland Cathedral - drawing all 41 players and coaching staff in together.

"It shows the spirit of the team that you all get stuck in to things like that - and that you actually want to, that you want to be a part of it," Lawes said.

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