England duo Lawes & Wood ready for new season

Northampton Saints Boss Jim Mallinder says that the England duo of Courtney Lawes and Tom Wood will be ready for the new Aviva Premiership season.

Mallinder revealed that Lawes has been given the all clear on the shin injury that ruled him out of England’s tour of South Africa last month.

Lawes has not played for Northampton since they beat Newcastle Falcons on New Year’s day when he suffered knee and shin problems.

Injuries caused him to miss much of the Six Nations with a knee problem and he was then hit with a shin injury, which ended his season.

“Courtney Lawes had the all clear last week so he’s now back in full training,” said Mallinder.

“We’re looking forward to him playing in August, in the pre-season games.”

“He’ll be fully fit and ready to go in September,” added Mallinder who expects Lawes to feature in the club’s pre-season fixtures.

Tom Wood has also seen limited game time due to injury and has been on the sidelines since March the 24th with a toe injury.

While Wood’s playing future was in doubt as there were fears that the problem was irreparable but Mallinder is confident the player will make a full recovery ahead of the new season.

“Tom Wood is improving,” the Saints boss told the Northampton Chronicle and Echo.

“He’s really improving all the time. He’s not yet got up to the stage of running on his foot but the toe is improving.

“He’s been to see the specialist who is very positive and fingers crossed if everything goes to plan he will take part in some of the pre-season games in August and be fit for us in September.

“The root cause is a little bit genetic, I think that’s simply what it is.

“In a rugby player like Tom Wood, who is big, athletic, strong and powerful, in some cases there is a lot of pressure going through your big toe, particularly in terms of scrummaging in that type of position.

“He’s had a bit of a weakness there and hopefully with a little bit of a rest he won’t have any more problems with it.”

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