Blow for Wasps and England as Launchbury ruled out for 12 weeks

The second row has been ruled out of the November internationals after undergoing knee surgery.

Launchbury is facing a period on the sidelines.
Launchbury is facing a period on the sidelines.
Image: Getty Images

WASPS CAPTAIN JOE Launchbury has been forced to undergo a knee operation to rectify an injury which was worse than first feared, thus ruling him out of the upcoming November internationals. 

The second row had an injection in his knee earlier this week in the hope he would be fit for tonight’s Heineken Champions Cup opener against Leinster, but has gone under the knife and will be sidelined for a period of 10-12 weeks. 

Launchbury sustained the injury during the Premiership clash with Leicester on 16 September and will now miss England’s Autumn fixtures against South Africa, New Zealand, Japan and Australia.

The 27-year-old, capped 54 caps for England, adds to Eddie Jones’ injury worries with Bath fullback Anthony Watson and Exeter forward Sam Simmonds already long-term absentees.

As well as missing the November internationals, the loss of Launchbury for the first four rounds of European action is a big blow for Wasps, who are in a formidable pool alongside Leinster, Toulouse and Bath.

Dai Young’s side get their Pool 1 campaign underway against the defending champions at the RDS later [KO 7.45pm, BT Sport], and will also be without scrum-half Dan Robson who will have an ankle operation today.

He will also be out of action for 12 weeks, joining Launchbury and out-half Jimmy Gopperth in the treatment room. 

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Source: Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42/SoundCloud

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Ryan Bailey

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