England turn to Launchbury
March 5, 2012
Joe Launchbury on duty during the 2011 Junior World Championships © Getty Images
London Wasps have announced that forward Joe Launchbury has been called into the England squad in place of the injured Courtney Lawes.
The 20-year-old has just 12 Aviva Premiership starts to his name and has spent time on the sidelines this season through injury. But with Lawes injured, England have opted to draft in Launchbury ahead of their match with France at the weekend. With the likes of Tom Palmer, Mouritz Botha and Geoff Parling in the mix, Launchbury faces a tough ask to feature in the matchday squad, but the experience will prove hugely worthwhile nonetheless.
Launchbury said: "I am totally shocked to be honest but thrilled to get the chance to train with the squad. It was a totally unexpected call especially as I have missed so much of this season but it's a great opportunity for me to pick up some really valuable experience at the highest level. I'm really looking forward to it."
But while Launchbury is reveling in the call-up, one man who has left the England party is scrum-half Joe Simpson. He dislocated his shoulder at the weekend and is likely to miss the rest of the tournament. Harlequins' Karl Dickson has been given the nod in his place.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Ireland have the world sitting up and taking notice - and rugby's structure in Europe will aid their Rugby World Cup bid, writes John Mitchell
Where does Italy's win over Scotland rank among their successes in the Six Nations? Scrum Sevens investigates
The tone was set early on in Dublin as a more clinical Ireland made England pay. All is not lost, however, argues Phil Vickery
Monday Maul takes in retirement talk, England reshuffles, France's unfair advantage and Scotland's communication breakdown