Northampton’s Tom Wood set to be fit for new Premiership season

Tom Wood could return for the start of the Premiership season but Northampton club-mate Courtney Lawes to be fit in time

Sportsbeat
By Sportsbeat

Injured England flanker Tom Wood could return for the start of the Premiership season but Northampton club-mate Courtney Lawes is still unlikely to join him in the opening match against Gloucester.

Wood was one of the leading contenders for the England captaincy ahead of the 2012 Six Nations but never got on the pitch due to a foot injury and could only watch as Chris Robshaw led the side.

England finished second under the 26-year-old Robshaw, losing only to eventual Grand Slam champions Wales at Twickenham 19-12.

Wood, one year Robshaw’s junior, then missed the South Africa tour but Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder is factoring him in to his team’s plans for 1 September.

But Lawes, who made his Test debut in 2009, is set for a later return date in October to allow for his dislocated shoulder to fully heal – leaving Mallinder with mixed emotions.

“They’re both making massive progress,” said Mallinder. “I’d like to think that [for the Gloucester match], Tom will be 100 per cent fit.

“It was massively unfortunate regarding Courtney. He was coming good with his shin problem and getting back to full fitness.

“He had a little accident wrestling and dislocated his elbow. He probably won’t make the beginning of the season but we’d expect him to be back by late September or early October.”

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