News24

England bring in Launchbury

2012-11-05 15:32

London - Wasps lock Joe Launchbury on Monday became the latest player to be summoned into England's squad for the forthcoming autumn internationals at Twickenham.

Launchbury was included as "temporary injury cover" for Tom Palmer, according to a Rugby Football Union (RFU) statement.

Palmer has a calf problem and Launchbury will train with the rest of the England squad on Tuesday following a recovery day Monday that came after appearing in the Premiership for Wasps on Sunday.

"Tom's training was limited last week because of a calf injury so we are bring Joe in as a precaution and because of the form he has shown recently," explained England coach Stuart Lancaster.

"We know that he will fit in to the squad well having played in the Barbarians match and in the preparation for the South Africa tour."

Launchbury's call-up came a day after Gloucester duo Billy Twelvetrees and Freddie Burns were brought in to bolster an injury-hit England back division.

Meanwhile forwards Courtney Lawes and Dylan Hartley are continuing to nurse knee injuries ahead of Saturday's international against Fiji at Twickenham.

After Fiji, England will face southern giants Australia, South Africa and world champions New Zealand at Twickenham on successive weekends.

This year's autumn matches in Europe have added significance as the teams in the top four of the International Rugby Board rankings at the end of the series will be seeded for next month's draw for the 2015 World Cup in England.

Lancaster's men are currently fourth but lead fifth-placed France, last year's losing World Cup finalists, by less than a point.

AFP