Darbon and Dowson discuss desire to keep Lawes at Saints

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CEO Mark Darbon says Saints are 'working hard' to keep Courtney Lawes at the club beyond the current season.

Lawes' deal at cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens expires this summer and he has been linked with a move to France, with the likes of Provence and Brive said to be targeting him.

But Saints are eager to ensure that Lawes, who is enjoying an incredible campaign so far, remains a one-club man.

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And at Monday night's supporters forum at the Gardens, Darbon said: "We're desperate for Courtney to stay.

Courtney Lawes (photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)Courtney Lawes (photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Courtney Lawes (photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

"We're in a discussion at the moment. I think he'd like to stay.

"In all of these things there are a million factors, but we're trying very hard to keep him.

"One of the things we love about this place is the respect the supporter base have particularly for people who have graduated through our pathway and we see that in the interactions and we know that because we hear it from lots of people.

"We'd love to keep Courts, we're working hard on it.

"We're hopeful."

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Lawes, who retired from England duty after the World Cup, has helped to propel Saints to the top of the Gallagher Premiership as well as Champions Cup Pool 3.

And Saints director of rugby Phil Dowson, who played alongside Lawes for many years, said: "You've seen over the last decade plus what a quality player he is, what a quality person.

"Mark's said everything that I would of said in terms of we're desperate to keep him – there's clearly factors at play in the industry that mean that becomes difficult.

"We're desperate to try to keep hold of him and that's a daily hug from me!"