WASPS and England lock Joe Launchbury’s World Cup hopes have suffered a setback after he was ruled out of the Six Nations while he recovers from surgery on a nerve problem in his neck.
Launchbury had hoped to resume playing this month, having missed England’s entire autumn campaign, but has now been told he needs an operation to resolve the recurring issue. It means the 23-year-old is all but certain to miss out on the Six Nations – a crucial part of head coach Stuart Lancaster’s fine-tuning as he prepares for the home World Cup in September.
Launchbury is due to have surgery to decompress the nerve today and will need three to four months’ rehabilitation, Wasps said.
Coach Dai Young added: “We have consulted specialists in this field and they have recommended surgery as the best option to get him back to full fitness for the long term.”