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by Natasha Whiting •

Evening Standard // February 2021

Ollie Lawrence will be absolutely gutted to not be facing Italy on Saturday and there is just no way to sugarcoat it. To go from starting against Scotland last week to being completely out of the squad is a massive blow for anyone and especially for someone who is only 21. Ollie will have gone into this Six Nations thinking it was a chance to build up some momentum, but then in his first game he doesn’t touch the ball for an hour and now he’s been hooked. There aren’t really any words Eddie Jones could say to comfort him. It’s now a question of when you bring Ollie back into the fold, how you keep his confidence high and how you look after him both as a player, but more importantly as a young man. There are some similarities with what happened to Mathew Tait. Everyone will remember his debut back in 2005 against Wales and that image of Gavin Henson basically carrying him.

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