Launchbury ready for New Zealand

Date published: November 13 2013

England second-row Joe Launchbury has stressed the need to put in an 80 minute showing when they take on New Zealand.

England second-row Joe Launchbury has stressed the need to put in an 80 minute showing when they face New Zealand at Twickenham on Saturday.

A solid first-half against the Pumas was not backed up in the second last week as the Red Rose wilted, with Argentina in the ascendancy.

So the lock knows they cannot afford the same story when they tackle the All Blacks, sighting the need to take their chances when they arrive.

“I think first and foremost we're happy with the win last weekend,” Launchbury told Sky Sports.

“Any win in international rugby should be cherished and we should be happy with.

“But at the same time we felt we had a very strong first half and played some great rugby and perhaps in the second half we didn't reach those heights again.

“I think obviously you give a fair bit of credit to Argentina, they came back very hard. They're a passionate country and we knew they weren't going to lie down.

“This weekend it's about us and if we manage to start well we've got to continue to play well. I think the first 20 minutes after half-time is massively important to us, we need to come out of the blocks at half-time firing.

“I think we're happy with the way things are going, the scrum and the line-up, at the same time we obviously understand the challenge we have this weekend, New Zealand are a formidable pack and they've got some great players.

“I think sometimes we talk a lot in training about perhaps only getting two or three chances a game to score tries and if we want to be the best team in the world or a good team then we need to take those chances.

“We're going into the game slightly different to where we were last year, we came off two slightly narrow losses and we were upset about that, we had our backs against the wall. We're going into this slightly differently, we've won a few games so we're pretty confident where we are as a team.

“Obviously we understand last year we got a few key things right, we managed the breakdown well which perhaps we didn't do in the games before.

“Again this weekend the breakdown will be a massive part of the game, with the back-row they have it's pretty obvious it's a big area for the game.

“I'd like to think we've proved over the last season that it wasn't a fluke and we've gone on and won lots of close games. We won some tough games away from home in the Six Nations and various things like that.

“We're immensely proud of what happened last year but this is a new game and a new task. We're going to need to be on it for 80 minutes to stand in with a chance.

“It's a massive opportunity for me and the team, when you get to play a southern hemisphere side in back-to-back weeks like we've been doing, to play the best team in the world, the number one side, it's a great challenge.”