Rugby Union

Northampton Saints confident England trio will be fit for autumn Tests

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Northampton Saints boss Jim Mallinder is confident England trio Courtney Lawes, Alex Corbisiero and Tom Wood will all be fit in time for the autumn Tests, reports BBC Sport.

Wood and lock Lawes both missed the Aviva Premiership victory over Bath at the weekend, whilst Corbisiero had to be withdrawn early in the second half with a shoulder problem.

Mallinder however believes Lawes and Corbisiero could even return in the clash with London Irish this coming Saturday, but the injuries to all three players would have caused concern for England head coach Stuart Lancaster.

Notable absentees

He is already without Tom Youngs - who has a shoulder injury - and both Dan Cole and Mako Vunipola for the crunch matches, which begin when England host New Zealand on November 8.

Fly-half Owen Farrell is also expected to win his own fitness battle in time to face the best teams the Southern Hemisphere has to offer.

As well as going toe to toe with the All Blacks, England also face South Africa, Australia and Samoa.

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Late withdrawals

27-year old flanker Wood was originally set to feature in the Premiership match with Bath but a back problem meant he withdrew late, as did Lawes.

Speaking about Wood, Mallinder said: "He's improved this week. He trained on Wednesday and then again on Friday and had a reaction from it.

"I'm hoping it's not too bad. He could have played if we had put pressure on him, but it wasn't the right thing to do. Hopefully he will be alright in the next week or two."

No Corbisiero concern

Prop Corbisiero missed the majority of the second half of the last campaign with a knee injury, but Mallinder is not concerned about the severity of his current shoulder issue.

Despite Corbisiero having to be substituted, his team mates completed a narrow 31-24 victory over a resilient Bath side to record their third victory of the season.

The win moved them up to second behind Saracens, who enjoyed a much more comfortable afternoon as they thrashed Sale 40-19.

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Aviva Premiership
Rugby Union
Northampton Saints
England Rugby

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