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Fitness race; SPORT SHORTS RUGBY UNION.

EDDIE Jones is hopeful Courtney Lawes will recover from his knee injury in time to start England's clash with South Africa a week on Saturday.

Lawes was a late withdrawal from Northampton's matches against Montpellier and Gloucester due to bruising on the joint and had effectively been ruled out of the Old Mutual Wealth series opener at Twickenham by director of rugby Jim Mallinder.

However, Jones is "cautiously optimistic" the 27-year-old will be passed fit as England seek to extend their flawless record under the Australian to 10 Tests.

"Courtney's medical situation is ongoing," said Jones, robbed of 10 players for the series through injury already.

"We're cautiously optimistic he'll be all right for the South Africa game."

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 1, 2016
Words:118
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