‘We want to finish on a high’ – Launchbury

Date published: March 14 2017

England second-row Joe Launchbury has labelled this week’s clash with Ireland as a “special opportunity” to win back-to-back Grand Slams.

Launchbury has been a stand-out player for England in the Championship and understandably wants to finish with a win at the Aviva Stadium.

“It’s the end of the campaign and we want to finish on a high for the right reasons,” the Wasps lock told England Rugby. “We feel we have been building as the tournament has gone on, and we are pleased with the results we’ve had. But we want to finish in a good, strong way.”

With a 19th straight win in their sights, England head to Dublin full of confidence. But forward Launchbury knows they will face a tough test.

“They (Ireland) have some strong individual players throughout their team and a half back paring who look to control the game,” he added. “It’s a huge game this weekend that we are desperate to come out on the right side of.”

The second-row also feels Ireland will be dangerous coming off the back of a defeat, with Joe Schmidt’s side having recently lost to Wales.

“Ireland are dangerous at set-piece, we won’t take them lightly in that area; they score a lot of tries off of it,” he explained. “We will give them the respect they deserve.”

He added: “We want to put on a strong performance that we are really proud of. We know what is at stake in terms of Grand Slams, but for us it has to be performance first.

“The opportunity we have this weekend is very special, the opportunity to go and win a Grand Slam.

“We will prepare accordingly.”