Launchbury named new Wasps captain


Wasps have confirmed England second row Joe Launchbury will be their new captain for the upcoming season.

James Haskell and Matt Mullan acted as co-captains last season as Wasps reached the semi-final of the Champions Cup and finished third in the Premiership.

However, with Haskell out of action after undergoing surgery on a toe injury, Wasps have elected to hand 25-year-old Launchbury the captain's armband.

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young described Launchbury, who has been at Wasps since he was 19, as a "natural leader" and a "world-class player".

"Joe is a natural leader around the place and I think he has grown with the responsibility of being a leader and an international over the last couple of seasons," said Young. 

"He has already proven himself as a world-class player and I'm sure the captaincy will only help him grow again. Joe has tremendous role models to follow in James Haskell and Matt Mullan, who have been outstanding for us.

"Unfortunately, James picked up a nasty injury while playing for England which means he will miss a major chunk of Wasps' season.

"That in itself makes it difficult to do the job of captain, but we also want him to be a little bit selfish and focus on himself so he can concentrate all his energy on getting back to full fitness as soon as possible."

Launchbury added: "It's a massive honour to have been named captain and something I am very excited about.

"We have a squad packed full of talent so it's now important we hit the season running."