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Courtney Lawes relishing England competition

Courtney Lawes believes he has improved over recent years but he still has work to do to earn a regular starting berth for England.

The Northampton Saints lock has won 61 caps for his country since making his debut in 2009, while he also formed part of the British and Irish Lions squad for this summer's tour of New Zealand.

Despite his vast experience, the 28-year-old has not always been guaranteed a regular place in Eddie Jones' starting XV, although he believes after improving his fitness, he now stands a better chance of featuring on a consistent basis.

"The biggest thing for me has been being able to stay on the pitch," Lawes told England Rugby. "My fitness is better and a lot of that is down to my work ethic in the gym and on the training field being way higher than in previous years."

Lawes faces a battle from the likes of Joe Launchbury, George Kruis, Maro Itoje and Nick Isiekwe to secure a place in Jones' team for the upcoming Autumn Internationals and he admits competition for places is very high.

"I still have a lot to do to get into this team; we have a lot of good second-rows, and a lot of competition for places."

England will kick off their autumn campaign with a match against Argentina at Twickenham on Saturday, before they face further contests against Australia and Samoa.

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