Towering English forward Courtney Lawes was in the middle of a Northampton training session when proceedings were halted in order for the team to be informed that it had within its midst two members of the current British & Irish Lions squad; Dan Biggar and Lawes himself.
Lawes was entrapped in a state of bewilderment as the news sank in, in that he had not received any indication before the time that he was being considered for selection, while the other members of the Lions squad received a save-the-date email.
“I was pretty surprised, I just didn’t really have any clue,” said Lawes. “Some players got emails and things like that, but I didn’t get an email.
“I didn’t last time either, so I was pretty much in the dark and waiting to see if I would get a shot basically.
“And obviously not being fit at the minute I thought my chances were quite slim, but I’m very grateful for the opportunity.
“I don’t think I really worried about it too much.
“I kind of guessed I didn’t get an email either because I’m in the team, or because I’m nowhere near the team!
“So I just didn’t really worry too much about it.
“We were out training, then Boydy pulled us all in and let everybody know that me and Biggs were in the team.
“It was very cool. I’m glad I was in because it would have been awkward if Biggs was in and I wasn’t!”
Lawes, who has toured with the Lions twice and earned two caps along the way, is in the final stages of rehab for a pectoral muscle injury but is confident that he’ll be fighting fit come the tour.
“I’m only a couple of weeks away from being fit now, two or three weeks, so I’ll get a bit of game time before the end of the season, which is great,” he said.
“And luckily due to experience I’ve been able to come back and pick up where “I’ve left off from the last couple of injuries, so hopefully I’ll continue that and I feel like I’ll be able to.
“And in terms of the tour, I think it’s going to be great, obviously it’s going to be very, very different, with all of the Covid stuff going on.
“But I think we’ll just climb into it and work hard.
“Hopefully the best players on the best form will be picked for the Tests.
“And I’m looking forward to hopefully putting my name forward.”