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Tom Wood impressed by Courtney Lawes performance

Tom Wood hails fit-again teammate Courtney Lawes, who he believes is a key player for both Northampton Saints and England.

Tom Wood has heaped praise on "incredible" Northampton Saints teammate Courtney Lawes following his return to international action last weekend.

The 26-year-old lock was included in England's starting lineup against Scotland last time out having recently undergone surgery, producing a solid display in the engine room to help his side on their way to a 25-13 victory.

Wood, who also made his comeback appearance for the Red Rose following an ankle injury, has been hugely impressed by what he has seen from his close friend.

"He's an incredible athlete," the flanker is quoted as saying by the Northamptonshire Telegraph. "His impact in the game that he can make, particularly in defence, knocking people over, make him a real weapon.

"He's an asset in the lineout and it's huge when you've got someone of that athletic ability. It opens up space for others as well as winning crucial ball himself.

"We all know what he can do, levelling people in the tackle, and he's incredibly mobile so he gets around the pitch and gets through a fair bit of work. He's obviously adding a fair bit of ball carrying to his game and he's a difficult man to stop. He's huge for us at Saints when he's on fire and he's brought that form to England, which is great for the team."

England take on France in their final Six Nations match next weekend, still in with a good chance of lifting the trophy.

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Mike Brown of England in action during the England training session at Loughborough University on August 12, 2013
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