Lawes is to leave the squad’s training camp in the Algarve to receive specialist treatment in the UK, placing a question mark over his involvement in the first of four internationals at Twickenham next Saturday.
The issue first surfaced on the day of Northampton’s defeat by Leicester on October 6, a back spasm incurred after sleeping in a hotel bed that was ill-suited to his 6′ 7” frame the previous night forcing him to withdraw during the warm-up to the game.
He has played once since – at home to Clermont – and must now prove his fitness if he is to face the Springboks.
“Courtney Lawes will return to England for specialist treatment on a pre-existing back injury,” forwards coach Steve Borthwick said.
“He is expected to return to Portugal early next week. He has taken part in modified training this week.”
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