JAMES Gaskell says he’s been surprised by Joe Launchbury’s leadership qualities since joining Wasps in the summer.

The England Saxons lock signed from Sale with Rob Miller, but while admiring Launchbury from a distance before than says that training and playing with the England man every day has revealed even more qualities.

Gaskell said: “You see him on the pitch and he’s very impressive, then you get to know him and he’s a really nice guy off the pitch as well.

“He’s always there to help guys out and point us in the right direction.

“You don’t see his leadership side when you’re outside the circle but coming down here you see what a leadership role he has at such a young age.

“It’s very impressive and it’s been good to work with him.”

Launchbury is sidelined with a neck injury at the moment and with Bradley Davies on Wales duty Gaskell can expect to start against London Welsh this weekend.

He said: “It’s been a big change in some aspects, picking up a whole new system of playing and working out what the coaches down here want compared to what they wanted with Sale.

“But I feel like I’m arriving at the start of something. When I spoke to Dai [Young] originally and he explained the sort of players he was looking to sign and where he wanted to take the club it felt like there was a big challenge ahead.

“With the move to Coventry as well, I think there are big things ahead for the club.

“Personally, with Brad and Joe here you’ve got to do something right to put your hand up. But this is an opportunity to start and hopefully get 80 minutes and then take it from there.”