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Wasps boss confirms extent of Joe Launchbury's leg break

By Chris Jones
(Photo by Bob Bradford - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Wasps boss Lee Blackett has revealed England lock Joe Launchbury will be out for six weeks with a stress fracture but believes he can return to full fitness before the end of the Six Nations.


Launchbury has stress fracture of his fibia but may be back before the end of the Six Nations. “It is massive loss to England to lose Joe and it looks like he will be out for the first three games and it’s disappointing in the short term for Joe,” said Blackett, the Wasps director of rugby. “We got the injury scanned to make sure there was nothing serious and we expect him to be out for six weeks and we will try our best to get him back for the last couple of games.”

“We were on an artificial surface the other day for the first time and whether that has aggravated it slightly.”

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Cam Redpath on why he chose Scotland over England:

Blackett has backed Matteo Minozzi’s decision to rule himself out of Italy’s Six Nations championship campaign because he feels “physically and mentally tired”. Minozzi, who has won 22 caps, chose to stay with Wasps and play in the Premiership final rather than team up with the Italy squad to face Ireland in their rearranged Six Nations 2020 match in October.

Blackett is preparing his players for their Premiership match at home to Harlequins on Sunday and is now without Tom West who has been called up by England to replace Joe Marler and said: “It’s been a tough period for Matteo and I am sure it won’t be the last time we see him in an Italy shirt. I spoke to him in detail about this eight weeks ago and we felt he needed a mid-season break.

“If Matteo wants to play international rugby we are fully behind and if he doesn’t we are also fully behind him. It is something he thought long and hard about after being out for a year with a bad injury then goes to a new country and it’s been a tough period. We will manage him through this period. A lot of people may have worried about losing their place in the future but Italy are very understanding.

“He has said enough is enough for the time being.”

Minozzi, 24-years-old, revealed his decision on social media saying: “After the Autumn Nations Cup, I’ve been thinking for a long time about my performance and how much Italian colleagues, coaches and fans expect from me.


“The last year has changed many things, changing the country and a few months after having to experience the UK lockdown away from everyone has been a great and difficult challenge.

“Meanwhile, I’ve worked like never before in my life to find my place in a super competitive reality like the Premiership and to find myself ready for Italy last fall. I wanted to be honest with Franco (Smith, Italy head coach) and I want to be honest with all the Italian enthusiasts who believe in me and love me: “I’m physically and mentally tired, a bit too much to live another two months in a bubble.

“I hope even if you can’t support it, you’ll understand my choice. I will cheer for my teammates like I always did for the national team and wish my teammates and all the staff the best of luck. I can’t decide if and when I return, but I hope I’ll be given the opportunity. Come on Italy.”


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Jon 1 hours ago
Sam Cane was unfairly cast in Richie McCaw's shadow for too long

> McCaw’s durability and sustained excellence were unique, but we seemed to believe his successors were cut from the same cloth. It’s easy to forget McCaw was just as heavily critiqued for the last two years of his career. The only real difference was his captaining criticisms and his playing criticisms happened at different times, where Cane was criticized for a few things in both areas for all of his last 4 years. This was also heavily influenced by another McCaw esque presence, in Ardie Savea, being in the team and pushed out of his original position. It could be said we essentially didn’t have the 3 prior years with Ardie as world player of the year because he was changing into this new role. I say “original” position as despite him never coming out and saying his desire is to perform his role from, that I know of, clearly as part of a partnership with Cane as 7, I don’t think this was because he really wanted Cane’s playing spot. I think it most likely that it comes down to poor All Black management that those sort of debates weren’t put to bed as being needless and irrelevant. It has been brought up many times in past few months of discussions on articles here at RP, that early calls in WC cycles, to say pigeonhole an All Black team into being required to have a physical dynamo on defence at 7 (and ballplyaer at 8 etc) are detrimental. In the end we did not even come up against a team that threw large bodies at us relentlessly, like why we encountered in the 2019 WC semi final, at all in this last WC. Even then they couldn’t see the real weakness was defending against dynamic attacks (which we didn’t want to/couldn’t give 2019 England credit for) like the Twickenham Boks, and Irish and French sides (even 10 minutes of an English onslaught) that plagued our record and aura the last 4 years. It really is a folly that is the All Blacks own creation, and I think it pure luck, and that Cane was also such a quality All Black, that he was also became an integral part of stopping the side from getting run off the park. Not just rampaged. > The hushed tones, the nods of approval, the continued promotion of this nonsense that these men are somehow supernatural beings. I bet this author was one of those criticizing Cane for coming out and speaking his mind in defence of his team that year. Despite the apparent hypocrisy I agree with the sentiment, but I can only see our last captain as going down the same road his two prior captains, Read and McCaw, have gone. I am really for Cane becoming an extra member to each squad this year, June, RC, and November tours, and he is really someone I can see being able to come back into the role after 3 seasons in Japan. As we saw last year, we would have killed for someone of his quality to have been available rather than calling on someone like Blackadder. Just like the Boks did for 2023.

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