Launchbury scoops England fan award
December 7, 2012
Joe Launchbury shone throughout England's autumn Test schedule © Getty Images
Second-row Joe Launchbury has been voted England's man of the series for his impressive performances during the autumn internationals.
The award, which was voted for by the public via the QBE rugby website, caps a hugely impressive few weeks from the 21-year-old. The Wasps lock beat Alex Goode, captain Chris Robshaw and second row partner Geoff Parling to the award. Launchbury made his England debut as a replacement in the victory over Fiji and he also made an impact off the bench against Australia to earn the starting jersey for the game against South Africa and the record 38-21 triumph over New Zealand.
"To win this award is massively humbling and I'm grateful to everyone who voted - to be honest I was shocked to even be shortlisted," Launchbury said. "It's been an amazing month for me, to make my debut in that first international against Fiji was a massive honour - and at the time the biggest achievement of my career - but as the weeks went by I felt like I grew in confidence and for it all to culminate in that amazing win against New Zealand topped it all off.
"As Tom Wood said after the New Zealand game, although he won man of the match, any number of players could have taken the award, and that's exactly how I feel picking up this award. You're only as good as the 14 players around you and even when our backs were against the wall we stuck together."
London Wasps boss Dai Young added: "We're delighted for Joe and this tops off a great month for him. I've said for a long time that Joe isn't a star in the making - he's already here, and he's only going to get better. How well he has done in his first few caps will serve as a real inspiration to any young guys out there that no matter how old you are, if you work hard and keep your head down you'll get your chance. He's got his and he's taken it."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter
While the Super Rugby season enters the all-important knockout phase, elsewhere pre-season training never looked so enjoyable. We round-up the best snaps in our Week in Pictures