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Launchbury on the level: Wasps lock eager to retain form
JOE Launchbury is one of the most exciting talents in world rugby, but the 22-year-old says there is still more to come.
He picked up where he left off last season with an opening day try at Twickenham a fortnight ago despite missing most of pre-season, and now he wants to maintain that form.
He said: “I missed a large chunk of pre-season and all three pre-season games with an ongoing issue from last season.
“But that’s all cleared up now and I’m feeling fit. I’m happy with where I am, but there is always room for improvement.
“I’m young and I feel like I’ve got more to give so I do want to keep improving as a rugby player.
“But my aspiration now is consistency. I want to keep playing to the level I’ve been playing in the past year.
“There is no point having one good year and then dropping off.
“So for me the main thing is to be consistent in what I do and carry on where I left off last year, not making mistakes and going about my business in the second row.”
Launchbury has been part of a high-achieving pack at Wasps this season.
That hasn’t been the case in recent years, but he says two good Saturday’s don’t make a season and the forwards need to deliver week in and week out to change perceptions in the country.
He said: “We’ve got a few new faces in there that are making a difference. We’re a young pack and we’re improving, but we can’t keep using that as an excuse.
“We’ve got to keep getting better year on year.
“In the first two games there has been an improvement, but that’s two games. It means nothing.
“We’ve got to keep pushing on and keep improving and showing the league that we can compete.”
However, two defeats out of two makes uncomfortable reading for Wasps at the moment, but the season will have a totally different feel to it if they bounce back with a victory over Sale tomorrow night and Worcester at home next weekend.
Launchbury said: “We’ve got some big games coming up. Sale is a massive game and then we’ve got our first proper home game against Worcester. We’re not really thinking much past that.
"We’re thinking about the here and now. We feel like we had a very good pre-season and have worked on things which hopefully will stand us in good stead for the length of the season.
“We lost to Quins by a point and to Exeter by four points. We’re doing a lot of things right, it’s about tidying up around the edges.”
Wasps’ aggregate score so far this year is 41-46, but it’s earned them just two points.
Launchbury said: “That’s the Premiership, isn’t it? It’s very small margins and it’s going to be like that for the whole season. The league is always tight and picking up points along the way is going to be really important.
“We showed a lot of heart to come back and get a bonus point against Exeter. A lot of teams would have rolled over and taken the defeat but we really fought hard and got back into contention.
“That camaraderie will stand us in good stead and you never know what these bonus points could mean at the end of the season.”
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