Berliner TageBlatt - Northampton provide captains of both England and Wales at Twickenham

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Northampton provide captains of both England and Wales at Twickenham
Northampton provide captains of both England and Wales at Twickenham / Foto: © AFP

Northampton provide captains of both England and Wales at Twickenham

Northampton team-mates Courtney Lawes and Dan Biggar will achieve a rare feat in the Six Nations Championship when they captain England and Wales respectively at Twickenham on Saturday.


According to respected rugby statistician Stuart Farmer, it will be just the fourth occasion in Championship history where one club has provided both skippers for the same game.

Former Stade Francais colleagues Sergio Parisse (Italy) and Pascal Pape (France) did it in 2013 and 2014, while Toulouse saw Gareth Thomas captain Wales against a Fabien Pelous-led France in 2005.

The scale of the achievement for English Premiership side Northampton can be gauged from the fact that only twice in the old Five Nations -- way back in 1913 and 1914 -- did both captains in a match come from the same club.

"It is a very proud moment for the club in terms of us both captaining in a huge game on Saturday -- England versus Wales," Wales fly-half Biggar said Thursday after both teams for the Twickenham showdown had been announced.

- 'Laid-back Lawes' -

"I think 'Courts' will probably be the more relaxed of the two of us on Saturday afternoon, I would imagine. His style will be a lot more laid-back than mine.

"It's a really special moment, actually. I've played with him over the last four years, and it will be really exciting on Saturday."

Lawes missed the first two rounds of this season's Six Nations due to concussion but has been restored at blindside flanker for the visit of reigning champions Wales, as well as taking over the England captaincy from fellow back-row forward Tom Curry.

The two skippers are vastly experienced, having won 187 caps between them for their two countries in addition to a total of eight Tests for the British and Irish Lions.

"I think the biggest thing I've noticed with 'Courts' over the last few years is he has got the ability that when he speaks people tend to listen," Biggar added.

"You can have a lot people who speak a lot of the time, but it can be white noise. Certainly from my experience from playing with Courtney, when he has something to say people tend to tune in a little bit more closely and really focus in."

Biggar, asked if he had been in contact with Lawes this week, replied: "Only earlier on in the week. I am actually on the scrounge for a couple of tickets!

"It's funny when England versus Wales comes around, everyone comes out of the woodwork and wants a few tickets!

"He will be able to get a few more than me, and I am sure I will touch base with him later on."

Lawes, reflecting on captaining England against a Wales team led by Biggar, said: "It's awesome, it's obviously great for the club. It's great for us to get to play against each other and captain against each other.

"I look forward to the banter at the coin toss and playing against a good friend."