Launchbury commits to Wasps


Published: Friday 24th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Wasps have announced that England lock Joe Launchbury has agreed a contract extension with the Aviva Premiership club.

Launchbury’s decision represents a major coup for Wasps ahead of their move to Coventry’s Ricoh Arena.

The 23-year-old joined Wasps from Worthing Rugby Club in 2009 and has gone on to make 22 Test match appearances, making himself a cornerstone of England’s pack.

Launchbury has started England’s last 19 Tests and he will be a major part of head coach Stuart Lancaster’s plans for the Rugby World Cup next year.

“I am really pleased to have extended with Wasps,” Launchbury told the club’s official website.

“There were a number of factors to consider, but uppermost in my mind was where I would become the best rugby player I could be. Also, with a baby on the way, where my family would be happiest long-term. Wasps is that place for me.

“I love this club, I have huge respect for the players and coaches, and continuing to work with (rugby director) Dai Young was a huge factor in my decision. He is so knowledgeable about the game and I feel I have learnt so much from him.

“Since I have been at Wasps, we as a club have searched for our own home, and to have finally secured that permanent home is massive for Wasps.

“It has proved the ambition (club owner) Derek Richardson and the club have to re-establish ourselves as one of Europe’s most successful clubs, and I am looking forward to our first game at the Ricoh Arena.”

Young hailed Launchbury’s impact on Wasps and accepted he would have been a player in huge demand from other clubs.

“I’m not daft, I know how sought-after Joe is in world rugby and imagine he will have had clubs lining up to talk to him about possibly joining them,” Young said.

“It’s not simply Joe’s talent which marks him out as a world-class player, it is also his attitude and commitment to the team. He is a very loyal and down-to-earth guy.

“He has weighed up all options and decided that Wasps is the best place for him to develop his game thanks to the structure we already have in place and the ambitious move to Coventry.

“He had his pick of teams and he has chosen Wasps because he believes this is a squad which will be successful. We, as coaches and a playing squad, will take that as a massive compliment.”

And Wasps chief executive Nick Eastwood hailed Launchbury’s new deal as “a significant achievement for the club.”

“He is a tremendous talent and a key figure within the squad,” Eastwood said.

“Joe’s commitment shows he, like our other players, have bought into the club’s vision and ambition and back the move to Coventry as the best option for the long-term success of Wasps.

“It is a significant achievement for the club and a statement that Wasps are determined to keep their best players and get back to the top of the domestic and European game.”

Published: Friday 24th October 2014 by The News Editor

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