Time running out for Wasps with World Cup ambitions

Joe Launchbury shone for England again

Joe Launchbury shone for England again

First published in Sport
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TIME is running out for Wasps players to force their way into Stuart Lancaster’s England World Cup squad.

England have just 15 games before they start their World Cup campaign at Twickenham next September; it’s getting to the now-or-never stage for players of all clubs still on the fringes.

Joe Launchbury is a certainty after signing off another sterling Six Nations campaign against Italy last weekend.

Time is desperately short for everyone else though.

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young said: “We’re not the team that was winning all those titles and gone are the days when we were guaranteed six to eight players every season.

“We’re building and if boys can perform at club level there is no reason why they can’t go on to international level.

“But there is getting less and less opportunity now, especially when the team [England] is playing as well as it is.

“There will be injuries, loss of form...there are always one or two players that come in with a late run but I don’t see many forcing their way in from any team this close to the World Cup.”

Christian Wade is sure to get his chance before the World Cup, but if he isn’t deemed fit enough for England’s summer tour he will essentially have only the autumn internationals and the 2015 Six Nations to make his mark.

Also on the cusp is Matt Mullan, who came on against Italy for his third cap.

Young said: “He’s been 24th man for most of the Six Nations so it was nice for him to get on and it’s reward for him.

“And it’s shown the players here also that if they keep working hard here and putting in big performances there is still a chance of playing.

“But we’ve got boys young enough to put themselves in the frame for the next World Cup as well.”

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