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Launchbury lands England call

England have called Wasps lock Joe Launchbury and Harlequins scrum-half Karl Dickson into their RBS 6 Nations training squad.

Launchbury, 20, replaces Northampton lock Courtney Lawes, who will miss the remainder of England's Six Nations campaign with a shin complaint.

Dickson, the elder brother of England's first-choice scrum-half Lee, comes into the squad after Joe Simpson dislocated his shoulder in Wasps' victory over London Irish at the weekend.

Both players will join the England camp at their Pennyhill Park base.

Launchbury, England's players' player of the tournament at the 2011 Under-20 World Cup, said: "I am totally shocked but thrilled to get the chance to train with the squad.

"It was a totally unexpected call especially as I have missed so much of this season but it's a great opportunity for me to pick up some really valuable experience at the highest level.

"I'm really looking forward to it."

Dickson was briefly drafted into the England set-up earlier in the championship when his brother suffered a fractured bone in his hand.

England are without Saracens' injured scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth and Danny Care, who is serving an international suspension following his conviction for drink driving.


From Belfast Telegraph