Launchbury, who graduates from the Wasps Academy, recently picked up awards as the club’s Young Player and Academy Player of the Season, having made an excellent contribution and impact in the side, particularly in the tail-end of the season.
Having featured from the bench at various points of the season, Joe made his Premiership debut start against Leicester Tigers at Welford Road in February and has caught the eye as a hard-working versatile young forward who can also play on the flank.
He joined the club from Worthing RFC where he played under the tutelage of former Wasps stalwart Will Green. Green was very impressed with the young lock who had gained first choice selection into the National 2 club squad and so he contacted Wasps to highlight his ability to the senior coaches. Joe then played in some ‘A’ team matches for Wasps and impressed enough to be offered a full time contract for a year.
He has also gained recognition on the international stage. He was a late addition to the England U20s squad for the Six Nations Tournament this year but went on to pick up the man of the match award in the final game of the competition against Ireland, which also clinched England the Grand Slam. He has also previously represented the England U18 AER squad in season 2008/9 and is part of a quartet of Wasps players who will represent England this summer at the Junior World Cup in Italy.
Launchbury said: “I’m pleased that the club have shown faith in me by offering me a lengthy contract and I was delighted to sign it. From a personal point of view this season has been great for me and I didn’t think I would get as many first team opportunities as I have. I’ve got a lot to learn and with the quality of coaching we get at Wasps as well as the experienced players I have around me, this is the right place for me.”
London Wasps Head Coach Shaun Edwards said: “It is marvellous news for the club that Joe has signed a new deal. Players like Joe are the future of London Wasps and he is a dedicated professional who works incredibly hard on all aspects of his game. He is improving all the time and hopefully that can result in him having a very successful career at all levels.”