Launchbury was voted the winner by a public online vote, having been shortlisted alongside England captain Chris Robshaw, Geoff Parling and Alex Goode. The shortlist had been chosen by media pundits and fans via QBE’s online platforms.
Launchbury’s award caps a remarkable few weeks for the 21-year-old, in which he won his first four caps for England.
He said: “To win this award is massively humbling and I’m grateful to everyone who voted – to be honest I was shocked to even be shortlisted. It’s been an amazing month for me, to make my debut in that first QBE International against Fiji was a massive honour – and at the time the biggest achievement of my career – but as the weeks went by I felt like I grew in confidence and for it all to culminate in that amazing win against New Zealand topped it all off.
“As Tom Wood said after the New Zealand game, although he won man of the match, any number of players could have taken the award, and that’s exactly how I feel picking up this award. You’re only as good as the 14 players around you and even when our backs were against the wall we stuck together.”
Having been initially named this season as a member of the England Saxons squad, Launchbury received a call-up from Stuart Lancaster to the senior squad ahead of the first of four test games at Twickenham this Autumn.
Winning his first couple of caps off the bench against Fiji and Australia, the young lock contributed enough to be handed a starting berth against both South Africa and New Zealand, where he excelled alongside second-row partner Parling.
London Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young said: “We’re delighted for Joe and this tops off a great month for him. I’ve said for a long time that Joe isn’t a star in the making – he’s already here, and he’s only going to get better. How well he has done in his first few caps will serve as a real inspiration to any young guys out there that no matter how old you are, if you work hard and keep your head down you’ll get your chance. He’s got his and he’s taken it.”