Young confident of Launchbury stay

Date published: October 15 2014

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Wasps director of rugby Dai Young admits he would be “surprised and disappointed” if Joe Launchbury leaves at the end of the season.

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young admits he would be “surprised and disappointed” if Joe Launchbury leaves at the end of the season.

The tireless England international lock, who is reported as being touted by Saracens, is rated as one of the game’s best second-row forwards.

And that, along with Wasps recently boosting their financial standing and security for the future, means that Young is hoping Launchbury stays.

“We’d be surprised and disappointed if he leaves, but there are no guarantees in life,” the director of rugby told Press Association Sport.

“We had to demonstrate to Joe that this is the right place for him to stay, first and foremost.

“We had to have a competitive squad, enough players in his position. He won’t be overplayed. We’ve got to have ambition as a club, playing in the top tournament – and the last thing really was we had to be sustainable, not relying really on the generosity of one person.

“So we’ve pretty much ticked all the boxes, I believe.

“That doesn’t mean to say that Joe or all our best players are going to stay, because that’s life, but certainly from my point of view I think the club have done as much as they could to keep our best players, Joe being one of them.”

He added: “It was never planned to talk until the middle of October, so over the next couple of weeks we’ll start talking, and we should have a real steer by the end of October whether it’s going to go positive or negative.

“But all the vibes we have at the minute are quite positive.

“I would never criticise a player for leaving, but I don’t see any reason to leave now, not now everything’s going in the right direction.

“Joe has been the backbone of this team and helped keep it afloat: so it would be really nice to see him achieve something here.

“I know he thinks the world of this club, and is very respectful and thankful for the club giving him the opportunity to put him back on the map.

“He’s had all his England caps from here, so it’s not as though he hasn’t achieved what he wanted as a player, even through difficult times.”

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