Launchbury out of November Tests

Date published: November 3 2014

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England have been dealt a massive blow ahead of the November Tests as Joe Launchbury was ruled out with a neck problem.

England have been dealt a massive blow ahead of the November Tests as Joe Launchbury was ruled out with a neck problem.

The Wasps second row will be on the sidelines for six to eight weeks with an ongoing irritation in a nerve in his neck and as a result he has been replaced in the squad by Leicester’s Graham Kitchener.

For the clash with New Zealand this Saturday it appears that Dave Attwood will now likely start in the second row alongside Courtney Lawes, while Saracens’ George Kruis is set to make his debut off the bench.

Launchbury’s injury is the latest in a long line of problems for England coach Stuart Lancaster, who is already deprived of Alex Corbisiero, Mako Vunipola, Tom Youngs, Geoff Parling and Ed Slater in the front five alone.

However Lancaster’s main concern was for the return of the 23-year-old Launchbury, who he expects to be ready in plenty of time for the Six Nations.

“It’s obviously disappointing but it’s important for Joe, England and Wasps that he has the appropriate rest and recovery period and we are confident that he will be back in the New Year,” said the head coach, Stuart Lancaster.

England have also brought London Irish hooker David Paice in as cover for Dylan Hartley and Rob Webber, while Luther Burrell and Stephen Myler will definitely not feature against New Zealand.

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