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Launchbury looks for consistency

England second-row Joe Launchbury has set himself the task of following up his debut Test season with a campaign notable for its consistency.

Launchbury was a standout performer during last year's November internationals but his form dipped after the RBS 6 Nations as he came to terms with the physical demands of playing in a Wasps squad that was short on numbers.

The athletic 22-year-old signed off the season with a strong summer tour to Argentina, but is determined to avoid another drop in standards as he seeks to add to his 11 caps.

"I'm massively proud of what happened last year. It was a big shock and I was delighted to get my first cap back in November," Launchbury said.

"To play for England was a great high but then a few games before the end of the season I may have let the standards I set slip.

"I was lucky to have a week's break before Argentina and then had another two to three weeks to build myself back up for the tour.

"I loved Argentina and we played some great rugby. It was good for me to come back and put in a performance and now I need to maintain that standard throughout the year."

Launchbury's form coincided with a slump from Wasps that saw the club lose their last seven games to finish eighth in the table.

"I was a bit disappointed with the way the end of last season unfolded and that's something we're trying to work on," he said.

"We played some great rugby at times and challenged teams at the top half of the table, but let it slip at the end of the season.

"It dangerous to set minimum and maximum standards for the new season. It's a very professional league, but we feel like we're ready to push forward across all fronts."

Wasps have named centre Chris Bell as their captain for the new season, which opens against Harlequins at Twickenham on September 7.


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