Launchbury backed to captain England

Date published: November 26 2015

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Wasps boss Dai Young has said that lock Joe Launchbury would make an excellent England captain.

New head coach Eddie Jones appears ready to assess all options before next year's Six Nations with Chris Robshaw's future in the role uncertain.

Young also likened Launchbury's demeanour on and off he field to that of England's World Cup winning captain Martin Johnson.

"I think he would make a great England captain. I would back him 100 per cent," Young said.

"He is certainly somebody the players would get right behind.

"I see real leadership skills in Joe and you've got four years to build it. That's important. You pick your captain now and build his experience as a captain, building that trust from coach to captain.

"One of the greatest captains England has ever had, Martin Johnson, didn't speak for the sake of it. When he spoke people listened. I think Joe would be very similar."

Young also compared his second row to Wales and British and Irish Lions captain, Sam Warburton.

"Joe ticks all the boxes and I do see similarities with Sam. Sam had limited experience and that is not a drawback," Young explained.

"Both are very sensible guys, they don't go looking for the limelight, don't do things that will draw attention to themselves and don't talk for the sake of talking.

"Like Sam, Joe is vocal when he needs to be. Gats [Gatland] helped grow Sam into the role. He wasn't someone that had captain written all over him.

"But Joe knows the game inside out and demonstrates the qualities that you'd want from a captain – he leads from the front, sets the standards on and off the field, in the preparation he does and the attitude he shows.

"Joe came in at a young age and not only does he now look an international player, he looks a quality international player, world class, a cut above everything that's out there."

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