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Young backs Launchbury for England

Published 16/05/2015

Wasps' Joe Launchbury, pictured, is in the mix for a World CUp berth according to Dai Young
Wasps' Joe Launchbury, pictured, is in the mix for a World CUp berth according to Dai Young

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young has backed England lock Joe Launchbury to be right in the selection mix for the World Cup.

Launchbury returned to action against Leicester last Saturday having missed more than six months of the season with a neck injury.

The 24-year-old got through a mountain of work against London Irish as Wasps held on for a thrilling 40-40 draw at the Madejski Stadium.

"I was really pleased with him," said Young.

"Obviously, match-fitness is going to be a concern for Joe because he's only played two games (since October), but I thought he just grew into the game today.

"I thought he was a big factor in most of the things we did well today. He had a bit of a hand in most things whether it was turning over the ball at the breakdown or making plays. I thought he had a really good game.

"I've got no doubts in my mind come the World Cup, he'll be right up there and ready to fire."

England head coach Stuart Lancaster will name a 45-man training squad for the tournament next Wednesday with livewire centre Elliot Daly tipped to make the cut following his stellar season for Wasps.

"Elliot's played well all season," Young added.

"He's added a hard edge to his play this year which you need at international level. I don't pick the England team but he certainly wouldn't let anyone down.

"When he had the ball today, he looked a threat and that's what you want from your number 13. You're not going to carve teams up game after game, but when you get the ball something's got to happen and you have to cause the other team's problems and I thought he did that again today."

London Irish fly half cum centre Shane Geraghty is another player who has put his hand up for England selection this season.

Geraghty kicked 15 points for the Exiles in an all-action display against Wasps with his pin-point cross-kick sending substitute Andy Short over for the match-levelling try in the dying moments.

The former Northampton No 10 missed a last-minute conversion that would have secured a memorable win in the final round of the Aviva Premiership - and Exiles head coach Glenn Delaney has backed Geraghty to shine if he gets the call from Lancaster.

"He's had a great season," said Delaney.

"He's on the radar. Stuart's been very complimentary and had him in camp earlier in the season.

"Form is currency and in a World Cup year, you want your big players performing. I know there's a lot of competition in that position… but I think what you saw today is the talent that he possesses and the composure."

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