Launchbury misses out on England captaincy role

Joe Launchbury has missed out on being named as the new England captain.

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The former Christ’s Hospital School pupil, from Barns Green, was overlooked for the role by new head coach Eddie Jones, who has instead appointed Northampton hooker Dylan Hartley.

Wasps lock Launchbury, who plied his trade in Sussex with Worthing Raiders, had been hotly-tipped as a good choice for the role, by plenty of ex-players, pundits and coaches.

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Jones - who took over from Stuart Lancaster following England’s disappointing World Cup - spoke to his players this morning to confirm his decision at their Pennyhill Park training base, before a media conference at 2pm.

Hartley is seen as a controversial choice by many having received more than a year’s worth of bans in his career for offences including eye-gouging, head-butting and biting.

Launchbury had been backed for the role by former World Cup winner Will Greenwood, Lewis Moody and Matt Dawson, as well as his club boss Dai Young.

The Wasps lock missed last year’s Six Nations with a neck injury and only returned in the World Cup match that confirmed England’s exit - the defeat to Australia.

The second-rower had been a doubt for this year’s tournament after a concussion in Wasps’ 32-22 Aviva Premiership win over Worcester earlier this month.

But he staged a superb comeback from injury on Saturday, scoring in his club’s 51-10 victory over Leinster to progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions Cup.

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