Belfast Telegraph

Friday 1 August 2014

Let's get stuck in - Launchbury

Joe Launchbury insists England need to play 'their' game agaisnt New Zealand

Joe Launchbury has drawn on his only previous experience of New Zealand rugby to warn England they need to ditch the reverence and hit the All Blacks hard in Saturday's Twickenham showdown.

The Wasps lock played for the England Under-20s in the 2011 Junior World Cup final against the Baby Blacks, a side who had never lost a game at that level. New Zealand won 33-22 in Padova but Launchbury's abiding memory of that occasion was that England afforded the Kiwis too much respect.

"The Baby Blacks had never been beaten and they had won the trophy easily at every Junior World Cup," Launchbury said. "It wasn't until we got out there and played our game that we realised we could turn these guys over. By the time we noticed, the chance had maybe gone."

He added: "The respect we gave them in that game was a bit too much. New Zealand rugby is held in high regard but they are 15 men on the rugby field.

"We have talked before every game this autumn about making a big start. We did that against South Africa last week.

"I would like to think we would get stuck in right from the start.

"If you let the All Blacks juggernaut get rolling then it will be hard to stop. We have to impose what we want to do on them."

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