Jonathan Joseph has revealed that he reached out and sympathised with Joe Launchbury after an attempted tackle by the Wasps second row last Sunday on the Bath midfielder resulted in the devastating ACL injury that ended the Lions selection hopes of the England forward.
Colleagues from the English set-up under Eddie Jones, the pair found themselves in a head-to-head battle during the first half of last weekend’s Gallagher Premiership match at the Ricoh Arena and a break by the ball-carrying Joseph resulted in the knee twist that completely ruptured Launchbury’s anterior cruciate ligament when he tried to make a tackle.
Joseph was back in European Challenge Cup action this weekend when Bath hosted Montpellier on Saturday night but he has spared more than a thought for his fallen England teammate, wishing him well in his long recovery.
“I have known Joe for such a long time, played age-group with him, 20s level, and then been in that England set-up with him,” said Joseph. “He is such a good bloke, such a nice guy.
“You never wish an injury like that upon anyone but to have a part to play in it, it doesn’t feel great. It’s not great and all you can do is send him a message, give him a call, apologise and wish him all the best for a speedy recovery.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) April 30, 2021
“He is a great player. I know he will come back and he will do everything he can to be back out there. I didn’t see him after the game but I have spoken to him since.”
The Launchbury injury was the second traumatic ACL incident of last weekend to rule out a contender for Warren Gatland’s Lions squad announcement on May 6. Ospreys’ George North had suffered a similar injury the previous day when in Rainbow Cup action for his Welsh club.
'Half my mates who have already retired say, ‘Don’t retire. Do as much as you can because it’s hard on the other side’
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) April 25, 2021
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