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Joe Launchbury lands new Premiership club after Japan stint

By Josh Raisey
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Former Wasps captain Joe Launchbury is set to rejoin his former club Harlequins after his stint in Japan comes to an end.

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The 70-cap England lock came through the Quins Academy before joining Wasps at the age of 18, and went on to represent them almost 200 times.

He will arrive at the Stoop in the summer following a stint with Toyota Verblitz in Japan, having been without a club since Wasps went into administration. He will join his former Wasps teammate Josh Bassett in London, who has already made the move south.

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“I’m glad to sign on with Quins,” Launchbury said after the deal was announced. “I have fond memories of my time here in the academy. I grew up playing with and against a number of the first team squad, so it has a somewhat familiar feel to come back to Harlequins.”

“I’m looking forward to my time in Japan for the rest of this season, but am very excited for the new start with Harlequins over the summer.

“Quins have some of the richest history in the game and it’s been fascinating to hear how this group have tapped back into that Harlequins DNA of old over the last few seasons.

“With the style of rugby this squad plays, I know it will be an exciting setup to be a part of.”

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Harlequins head coach Tabai Matson said: “We are delighted to welcome Joe back to Harlequins. He is one of the best English locks of his generation. Earning 70 caps for your country and over 170 for a club as prestigious as Wasps, many as their captain, is no mean feat.

“Joe’s a gentleman of the game but is no slouch when it comes to the most physical part of the sport. We are glad to be able to offer Joe his next role in rugby alongside some familiar faces in his fellow England teammates and Josh Bassett.

“I know our supporters will be sure to give Joe a warm welcome.”

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