Born in Exeter, Joe Launchbury started playing rugby at Exmouth and began his professional career at Wasps in 2009/10.
Joe joined Wasps on the advice of former Wasps player Will Green who had spotted the teenager playing for Worthing RFC at National 2 level. Joe had already shown his promise as a young rugby player but it wasn't until his arrival at Wasps that his real talent began to shine through.
An 80-minute appearance on his Aviva Premiership debut against Leicester Tigers in February 2011 alongside six more matches earned Joe a call up to the England U20s. Joe played in the final game of the Six Nations Grand Slam winning campaign and played a vital role at the Junior World Cup, helping England to the final and later being named the England Players' Player of the Tournament.
Joe put in an impressive first full season at Wasps (2011/12), the result of which saw him called up to Stuart Lancaster's England senior squad for the summer tour to South Africa. He made his debut in an uncapped game for England against the Barbarians at Twickenham but was forced to return home before the first training session after a knee injury ended his summer.
The 2012/13 season was a huge breakthrough season for the 26-year-old. He made 19 appearances for the Club, scored a try against Mogliano and won Man of the Match against Worcester Warriors at the beginning of the season.
His early form at the beginning of the season earned him an England call-up for the Autumn Internationals and later the Six Nations of which he started all five fixtures and received rave reviews. Joe rounded off the season by picking up the Aviva Premiership Best Young Player award and was selected for England duty during the summer.
In 2013/14, Launchbury picked up where he left off, making 22 appearances and scoring two tries for the Club despite being a vital member of the England squad, playing in the Autumn Internationals, Six Nations and starting all three tests against the All Blacks in the Summer Tour.
2014/15 was a disappointing season for Joe, he suffered a neck injury in December, limiting him to just seven games for the entire campaign. He finally made a return against Leicester in May and made the England World Cup squad at the end of 2015. The lock put in some excellent displays in England's disappointing tournament, including winning man-of-the-match in the defeat against Australia.
Launchbury put in some strong performances again in 2015/16 and played for England in their Six Nations Grand Slam winning campaign and in the tour to Australia in that summer.
Launchbury was named Wasps captain last season and made 18 appearances to take him past the 100 mark for the club. His fine displays saw him named in the Aviva Premiership Dream Team for 2016/17, alongside fellow Wasps Elliot Daly, Christian Wade and Jimmy Gopperth.
On the international stage Launchbury continued to be a regular for England, appearing against South Africa and Fiji in the autumn, before playing in all five of England's Six Nations games and being included in the tour to Argentina.
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