Courtney Lawes has delivered a timely boost to England’s Guinness Six Nations title hopes by returning to full training ahead of their crunch Round 3 encounter with Wales.
The 32-year-old was expected to captain England in the absence of regular skipper Owen Farrell but missed the first two rounds against Scotland and Italy with concussion.
Instead, flanker Tom Curry took the armband in Edinburgh – where they lost 20-17 – and in Rome, where they won 33-0.
“Courtney trained fully today (Friday), which is obviously really good news for himself and England. He looked sharp,” defence coach Anthony Seibold said.
“That was the last box for him to tick. He’s had a very thorough return to play integration and did everything in the session.”
Lawes is the latest player to bolster England’s squad, with centre Manu Tuilagi also expected to feature against Wales following a hamstring injury.
Veteran second row Joe Launchbury was added to the squad for the game against Italy and will hope to play against Wales, as he continues to increase his match sharpness following a long-term knee injury.
Despite losing their opening game to Scotland, England remain firmly in the hunt for the title and are still to play the only team that can still win the Grand Slam – France – on Super Saturday.
However, before they can think of a potential winner-takes-all contest in Paris, they must negotiate tricky home matches against Wales and Ireland, starting next weekend.