Match Preview: Joe Launchbury Pre Saints
Joe Launchbury looks ahead to this Sunday's clash with Northampton Saints at Adams Park.
After what Launchbury describes as a 'frustrating' loss to Saracens in the last play of the game at Twickenham last weekend, he and his Wasps teammates face an equally tough prospect this Sunday when they take on Northampton Saints at Adams Park.
Launchbury says that, despite taking a few days to emotionally recover from the manner of that defeat at the London Double Header, the side are taking the positives from the game and are fully focused on the next task.
"It was obviously frustrating. We went there with the hope that we would pull of a big win, started slowly but really worked hard, got ourselves into the game and had a great patch in the second half. We did enough to have been able to finish the game but to concede at the end like that was pretty gutting. We've had a couple of days trying to get over that but now the focus has switched. It's a long season, there are a lot of big games and it's a particularly big one this weekend back at home."
Launchbury is under no illusions that this weekend's fixture is going to provide the men in black and gold with a stern challenge but he says that, after an encouraging first outing last weekend in terms of the performance, the team are in a good place.
"It's a really tough one. Saints had a fantastic season last year and they had a great start to the season last week. We understand the challenge but we got a lot of things right last week and hopefully we can improve on the areas we need to in terms of closing out the game and improving in certain other areas. Hopefully we are in a good place."
Now a regular in the England set-up after bursting onto the international scene in recent seasons, Launchbury is surrounded by other England hopefuls in black and gold and he says that it is big games against the top teams that can prove the difference in selection for your country.
"It's always massively important. Stuart [Lancaster] makes it very clear that he's going to pick players on form and I think that's exactly the right policy to have. Everybody who has aspirations to play for England or those who have played before understands that to stay around that set up you have to be playing well for your club."
Tickets for this Sunday's game against Northampton Saints are still available to purchase online at www.wasps.co.uk/tickets