Speaking at the England Rugby World Cup squad announcement on Monday, Lawrence was joined by Captain, Owen Farrell, scrum-half, Jack van Poortvliet, and Saracens back row, Ben Earl, as they faced questions from the media.
It was a cagey affair for the players as they faced a room full of journalists focusing on England’s current lack of form and big-name omissions from the World Cup squad.
Whilst Farrell took centre stage as captain and batted away questions like he has been trained to do for so many years, Lawrence found himself with a more relaxed demeanour, burdened not by the immense pressure that has fallen before him.
As a relatively new player in the England setup, Lawrence has been a breath of fresh air for many. His performances in both the blue of Bath and the white of England have arguably been a step above many of his teammates at both club and international levels.
Formally of Worcester Warriors, Lawrence found himself without a club and without prospects when his former club filed for administration. Being picked up by Bath with a masterstroke for both Lawrence and the club, with the 23-year-old picking up multiple Player of the Match awards, as well as the Gallagher premiership player of the month award in November.
Lawrence’s arrival at Bath was a major contributing factor to the improved results of his new club side, and picked up the well deserved English Rugby Premiership’s Player of the Season award in May.
When asked what was the driving factor behind his incredible form, Lawrence had the following to say:
“The realisation that rugby can be taken away from you at any point, whether that be injury or any factor. I think the fact that I was at a place for so long and grew up playing there, and then had to completely move to a different team where a load of different players have been together for a long time was a real challenge.
“My real motivation is the fact that I was fortunate enough to pick up a gig pretty sharpish and I wanted to bring the best out of myself and just get going again.
“It was difficult, but like I said we all go through ups and downs in life and my jobs to play rugby and to the best of my ability, and hopefully I did that for Bath this season.
“Moving forward now with England over these next few weeks hopefully I can do the same”.
Borthwick has chosen three centres to take to France, in the form of Manu Tuilagi, Joe Marchant and the aforementioned Ollie Lawrence. Whilst Owen Farrell has regularly been used in the inside centre position in the past, many fans are expecting to see a bruising centre combination of Tuilagi and Lawrence making metres in the midfield.