Wasps captain Joe Launchbury to miss Lions tour

Wasps confirm worst fears on Joe Launchbury knee injury

Wasps have confirmed captain Joe Launchbury suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in Sunday’s win against Bath.

The knee injury to the England lock dampened the team’s 39-29 win, which ended a four-match losing streak, as Wasps now face up to having their skipper absent for several months.

In a club statement, it was confirmed the 69-Test second row would require surgery after meeting with a knee specialist.

“Joe Launchbury sustained a complete rupture of his Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) during Sunday’s game against Bath Rugby,” the statement confirmed.

“He has had a consultation with a knee specialist, who has confirmed that he will require surgery.

“Everyone at Wasps wishes Joe all the best for a speedy recovery.”

It is a heartbreaking end to Launchbury’s season, with the injury dashing his hopes of making a first British & Irish Lions tour of his career after missing out on New Zealand four years ago despite hitting peak form.

Best-case scenarios for ACL reconstructions are typically nine months, meaning Launchbury’s chances of playing in England’s autumn internationals are also certain to be over.

In an interview with The Rugby Paper in October, Launchbury said: “I grew up watching England and I’ve always been desperate to play for England. I know that’s the only stage to get to the Lions so hopefully I get the opportunity to train and play for England over the next few months. That’s all I can do. 

“You see how quickly things change at the moment so it’s still a long way away and there’s lots to focus on first, starting with this week.” 

The win over Bath at the Ricoh Arena moved Wasps to within six points of the Champions Cup qualifying places.

In the five remaining rounds of the Premiership season, Wasps will face Harlequins, Worcester, Northampton, London Irish and Leicester.

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