Lawes in line for England call
Courtney Lawes made an irresistible case to start England's opening autumn Test against Australia on November 2 as Northampton kick-started their Heineken Cup campaign with victory over the Ospreys.
Lawes earned lavish praise from Saints coach Jim Mallinder for his performance, which was highlighted by him making 20 tackles and dominating the restarts.
And on this latest evidence it would be a major surprise if England boss Stuart Lancaster does not include Lawes against the Wallabies.
"Courtney was sensational, not just in his restarts, but his defence as well," said Mallinder, following a 27-16 Pool One victory that saw Northampton score tries by Samu Manoa, Christian Day and Ben Foden.
"He is consistently making big tackles, he consistently makes big carries and he is doing that for 80 minutes now, which is where I think he has moved on in the past few months.
"He was in and out of games a little bit in the past. Now he is the sort of complete player for the full game."
Wales fly-half Dan Biggar posted all the Ospreys' points from a try, conversion and three penalties, yet they now have a mountain to climb in Pool One, a group that also includes reigning French champions Castres and three-time Heineken Cup winners Leinster.
Chris Robshaw insisted there were positives for Harlequins to take despite their 23-16 Pool Four defeat against last season's beaten finalists Clermont Auvergne.
Quins remain bottom of the group with one point from two games, despite gaining a losing bonus point courtesy of Nick Evans' drop-goal with the final kick of the match at Stade Marcel Michelin.
"In the Aviva Premiership we have started pretty slowly. Hopefully, this game has really turned our season around," Quins skipper Robshaw said.
"Players stuck their hand up and a lot of the young guys who came on off the bench made an impact, especially in an arena like that. It's not easy."
Exeter were unable to back up their opening weekend demolition of Cardiff Blues as they suffered a 20-16 Pool Two defeat against Glasgow.
Second half tries from Tim Swinson and Tyrone Homes set up the win, but back-row forward Dave Ewers' late scrambled effort for Exeter gave them a losing bonus and put them level on points with European champions Toulon at the group summit.
Head coach Alan Solomons admitted his Edinburgh side paid the price for a poor second-half performance as Perpignan stormed back to win 31-14 in their Pool Six clash.
Edinburgh led at half-time thanks to a spirited performance and a try for Tim Visser, but they were put to the sword by Perpignan after the interval at Stade Aime Giral as the French team scored four tries.
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