Joe Launchbury

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Joe Launchbury
Joe Launchbury (cropped).png
Launchbury playing for London Wasps in 2012
Full name Joseph Oliver Launchbury
Date of birth (1991-04-12) April 12, 1991 (age 23)
Place of birth Exeter, England
Height 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in)
Weight 117 kg (18 st 6 lb)
School Christ's Hospital
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Lock
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2009–2010
2010–
2010–2011
Worthing
London Wasps
Rosslyn Park (loan)
22
65
6
(35)
(20)
(5)
correct as of 16:51, 7 June 2014 (UTC).
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2009
2011
2012–
England U18
England U20
England
 ?
8
22
(?)
(0)
(10)
correct as of 09:44, 22 June 2014 (UTC).

Joseph Oliver "Joe" Launchbury (born 12 April 1991) is an English rugby union lock who plays for Premiership side London Wasps. He represents England at international level and previously played for the under-18s and under-20s before making his Test debut in 2012. Launchbury plays mainly in the second row but is also comfortable as a blindside flanker.

Club career[edit]

Born in Exeter, Launchbury was educated at Christ's Hospital where he captained the rugby team. He played for Horsham as a youngster and also represented Barns Green before joining the Harlequins Academy age 15.[1][2] After deciding not to offer him a professional contract at 18, he left Harlequins and joined then National League 2 South side Worthing for the 2009–10 season.[3] His performances at Worthing under Will Green, the then head coach and former London Wasps player, saw him recommend Launchbury to his former club. He played in several A League matches for Wasps and, after a spell training with the Eastern Province Kings in South Africa,[4] did enough to be given a full-time contract from July 2010.[5]

He was named in Wasps' Academy squad for the 2010–11 season and also joined National League 1 side Rosslyn Park on loan to gain senior experience.[1][6][7] Having played the first half of the season for the A team and out on loan, Launchbury made his Wasps debut on 30 January 2011 in the Anglo-Welsh Cup against Harlequins as a replacement, scoring a try in a 38–13 loss.[8] His first Premiership appearance came the following month against Leicester Tigers and he remained a regular fixture in the side for the rest of the season.[9] In May 2011 he was named the club's Young Player and Academy Player of the Season and was rewarded with a new three-year contract.[10][11]

In 2011–12, his first full season with the senior team, Launchbury made 15 appearances despite missing four months of the season after injuring his ankle in October.[12][13] He returned to the side in February as a replacement but went into the starting XV for the next game and was ever present as Wasps retained their Premiership status. All but one of his appearances over the season were made as a blindside flanker despite playing in the second row for most of the previous year.[9] He graduated from the Academy at the end of the season, moving up to the senior squad alongside several other England youth internationals.[14]

Launchbury extended his contract in November 2012, keeping him with Wasps until 2015.[15] He made 19 appearances during the campaign and was widely recognised for his performances, winning the November Player of the Month award and 2012–13 Premiership Young Player of the Season.[16][17][18] He was also nominated for the Rugby Players' Association Players' Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards,[19] missing out on both occasions to Wasps and England teammate Christian Wade,[20] and was among 15 players longlisted for ERC European Player of the Year.[21]

International career[edit]

Launchbury's first international experience came as part of the England under-18 side who finished runners-up in the 2009 European Under-18 Rugby Union Championship.[1] He moved up to the under-20s in 2011, making his debut as a replacement against Italy in the Under-20s Six Nations.[22] Despite not being included in the original squad he was elevated to the starting lineup for the following game and then earned a Man of the Match award against Ireland as England won the Grand Slam.[23][24] He was selected for the Junior World Championship in June the same year and started every game as England reached the final, eventually losing 33–22 to New Zealand.[25] He was named England Player of the Tournament by his teammates.[1]

2012–13 season[edit]

In 2012 he was called up to the senior squad for the tour of South Africa.[26] He played in the uncapped game against the Barbarians at Twickenham but despite flying out, an injury picked up in training forced him to return home.[27][28] The following month he was included in the Saxons squad but in November was called into the England training camp for the Autumn internationals as injury cover for Wasps teammate Tom Palmer.[29][30] He made his Test debut days later as a replacement against Fiji and was then promoted to the starting lineup against Australia.[31] He retained his place for the game against New Zealand as England recorded their first win over the All Blacks since 2003.[32] After impressing in all four autumn Tests Launchbury was voted Man of the Series.[33] He started in all five of England's Six Nations matches as they finished runners-up to Wales and was named England Player of the Year for 2012–13 in his first season as a senior international.[34] Several commentators backed him for a place in the British and Irish Lions squad for the 2013 tour to Australia though ultimately he was not selected.[35][36][37] He instead travelled with England for the tour of Argentina, starting both Tests in a 2–0 series win.[22]

2013–14 season[edit]

He retained his starting place for the 2013 Autumn internationals as England first beat Australia and then Argentina, a game in which he scored his first international try, grounding the ball after a rolling maul.[38][39] A second try is as many games followed against the All Blacks, though he was forced off after 46 minutes with a shoulder injury as England were unable repeat the previous years win, losing 30–22.[40] He was ever present during the 2014 Six Nations, starting all five games including the match against Ireland in which he made 15 tackles and won three turnovers.[22][41] Launchbury's partnership in the second row with Courtney Lawes, which began during the Autumn internationals due to an injury to Geoff Parling,[42] was praised throughout the tournament as England finished runners-up for the second year in a row.[43][41][44] He was among an initial group of 30 players selected for the three Test summer tour to New Zealand.[45] He started the first two games, in which England were defeated narrowly,[22] but was less influential at the breakdown than earlier in the season and missed several restarts, leading England head coach Stuart Lancaster to concede that he looked tired.[46] He was initially dropped for the third Test but was restored to the starting lineup after Geoff Parling failed to overcome an injury sustained in the second game.[47] England lost the game 36–13, their heaviest defeat of the tour, as New Zealand took the series 3–0.[48]

Honours[edit]

London Wasps
  • Academy Player of the Year: 2010–11[10]
  • Young Player of the Year: 2010–11[10]
  • Premiership Player of the Month: November 2012[16]
  • Premiership Young Player of the Season: 2012–13[17]
England

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Joe Launchbury profile". Rugby Football Union. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 
  2. ^ "Joe Launchbury keeps England place for Six Nations decider". West Sussex County Times. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 
  3. ^ Chadband, Ian (23 November 2012). "Joe Launchbury on a high after low of being rejected by Harlequins as a young player". The Telegraph. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "England v South Africa: The remarkable rise of Joe Launchbury". BBC Sport. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "Joe Launchbury talks to wasps.co.uk". London Wasps. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
  6. ^ "Wasps announce 2010/11 Academy intake". London Wasps. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
  7. ^ Fitzjohn, Simon (7 September 2010). "Flo eager to keep run going". Streatham Guardian. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
  8. ^ "Wasps come up short against Harlequins in Abu Dhabi". London Wasps. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Joe Launchbury". London Wasps. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c "Launchbury commits his future to the club". London Wasps. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  11. ^ Feldberg, Alan (16 May 2011). "England U20 star commits to Wasps". Streatham Guardian. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  12. ^ "News from the treatment room". London Wasps. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  13. ^ "Launchbury looking to make up for lost time". London Wasps. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  14. ^ "London Wasps announce Academy intake for 2012/13". London Wasps. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  15. ^ "Joe Launchbury agrees new London Wasps deal". BBC Sport. 16 May 2011. Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  16. ^ a b "Launchbury named Aviva Premiership Player of the Month". London Wasps. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  17. ^ a b "Launchbury named Discovery of the Season". London Wasps. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  18. ^ Lowe, Alex (14 June 2013). "Joe Launchbury: England will not take foot off the gas". The Independent. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  19. ^ "Wasps feature strongly in RPA nominations". London Wasps. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  20. ^ "Wasps win big at RPA awards". London Wasps. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  21. ^ "Early contenders for ERC European Player of the Year named". European Rugby Cup. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  22. ^ a b c d "Joe Launchbury profile". It's Rugby. Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  23. ^ "Launchbury ready for Irish challenge". London Wasps. Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  24. ^ a b Feldberg, Alan (23 March 2011). "Launchbury: I'd never won anything before the Grand Slam". Streatham Guardian. Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  25. ^ a b "England 22–33 New Zealand". International Rugby Board. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  26. ^ "Danny Care recalled to England squad for South Africa tour". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  27. ^ "Chris Ashton back on song for England in victory over Barbarians". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  28. ^ "England coach Stuart Lancaster denies contact with Andy Farrell". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  29. ^ "James Haskell omitted from England's 32-man elite squad". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  30. ^ "Launchbury called up to England training". London Wasps. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  31. ^ Hamilton, Tom (10 November 2012). "Launchbury rise continues with England debut". ESPN Scrum. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  32. ^ Rees, Paul (1 December 2012). "England's Barritt, Tuilagi and Ashton run stunned New Zealand ragged". The Observer. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  33. ^ a b "Launchbury named QBE Man of the Series". Rugby Football Union. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  34. ^ a b "RPA Awards for Launchbury, Scarratt, Norton, Wade and Streather". Rugby Football Union. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  35. ^ "Launchbury not a Lion yet". The British and Irish Lions. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  36. ^ "Joe Launchbury: Former shelf-stacker is a potential Lions hero". Sky Sports. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  37. ^ "Lions 2013: Jonny Wilkinson out but Sam Warburton is captain". BBC Sport. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  38. ^ Fordyce, Tom (2 November 2013). "England 20–13 Australia". BBC Sport. Retrieved 7 June 2014. 
  39. ^ "England beat Argentina at home ahead of All Blacks test". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  40. ^ Rees, Paul (16 November 2013). "New Zealand's Julian Savea sees off battling England challenge". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 June 2014. 
  41. ^ a b Cleary, Mick (11 March 2014). "How Joe Launchbury became England’s towering enforcer". The Telegraph. Retrieved 7 June 2014. 
  42. ^ "Joel Tomkins set for England debut but Geoff Parling out". BBC Sport. Retrieved 7 June 2014. 
  43. ^ Westerby, John (1 February 2014). "Joe Launchbury and Courtney Lawes the locks to open doors". The Times. Retrieved 7 June 2014. 
  44. ^ Verdier, Nick (21 March 2014). "Courtney Lawes and Joe Launchbury are ‘best in the world’". The Rugby Paper. Retrieved 7 June 2014. 
  45. ^ "Lancaster names initial 30-man NZ tour squad". Rugby Football Union. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  46. ^ Foy, Chris (20 June 2014). "Geoff Parling out of England team for third Test against New Zealand as Joe Launchbury comes in". Daily Mail. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  47. ^ "Team change – Launchbury in for injured Parling". Rugby Football Union. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  48. ^ Dirs, Ben (21 June 2014). "New Zealand beat England 36–13 to complete series whitewash". BBC Sport. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 

External links[edit]