England lock Launchbury extends with Wasps

Aviva Premiership Rugby club Wasps have announced that they have signed England second row Joe Launchbury ending speculation that he might be joining rivals Saracens.

Launchbury, who has made 66 appearances for the Club, started his professional career at Wasps having joined from Worthing RFC in 2009/10 as a 19 year old.

Since then he has rocketed through the ranks to become one of England’s hottest properties.

Within two seasons of being named Young Player of the Year for his Club, the 23 year-old won 22 caps for his country.

Launchbury has started each of England’s last 19 Tests, including two against Argentina last June, the 20-13 victory over Australia at Twickenham last autumn and all three matches against New Zealand in June this year.

After a three week lay-off, Launchbury returned to Wasps’ starting line-up against Leinster last Sunday to put in a magnificent defensive effort which saw him finish the round as the top tackler in Europe.

“I am really pleased to have extended with Wasps, ” said Launchbury

“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 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. I am also excited to continue to play with this talented group of players and feel we are developing a team which we can all be proud of.”

Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young said,”I am over the moon that Joe has decided to stay at Wasps and it is a significant reflection of the positive direction the Club is moving in that we have retained a player of his calibre and reputation within the world game. Joe truly believes this is the Club where he will continue to grow as a player and fulfil his international ambitions.

“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. 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.”

Wasps CEO Nick Eastwood added,”We are all delighted that Joe has decided to stay at Wasps. He is a tremendous talent and a key figure within the squad. 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.

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