Saints star Lawes says England will 'play for our lives' in World Cup final

Courtney Lawes will line up for England in Saturday's World Cup final against South Africa
Courtney Lawes will line up for England in Saturday's World Cup final against South Africa

Saints star Courtney Lawes says England will ‘play for our lives’ in the World Cup final against South Africa.

Eddie Jones’ side will be bidding to claim the biggest prize in rugby union when they square up to the Springboks in Yokohama on Saturday (kick-off 9am UK time).

South Africa beat Wales 19-16 last Sunday to set up a meeting with an England side who delivered a stunning display as they defeated New Zealand 19-7 a day earlier.

Lawes was once again instrumental, having been handed a start in the second row against the All Blacks, and he will play in the final after Jones has named an unchanged team for this weekend's crunch clash.

And the Saints lock is now desperate to help his country finish the job in Japan this weekend.

“It’s amazing (to be in a World Cup final) and it’s something I don’t want to let go of in my head,” Lawes said.

“It’s something we’ll all enjoy this week, and then we’ll go out and play for our lives, and enjoy ourselves while doing it.

“The feeling you get playing with this team is just fantastic.”

Lawes is remaining typically calm and collected in the build-up to this week’s huge encounter.

“If you want someone who is going to be really excited about things, I’m probably not the person to talk to,” he said.

“It is a life’s work but it’s not over yet. Next week, if we do the job, I might have a different answer but right now, I feel calm, want to prepare well and not get ahead of ourselves. And that’s what we’re doing.”

Jones has named an unchanged 23 for the final, meaning Lawes' Saints club-mates Lewis Ludlam and Piers Francis miss out, while Saints scrum-half Cobus Reinach also misses out for the Springboks.