Launchbury calls for AB intensity

Tue, 07 Jan 2014 16:32
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Joe Launchbury believes England will be tough to beat if they begin the Six Nations with the same intensity they showed against New Zealand in November.

Joe Launchbury admits England have some issues to iron out ahead of the Six Nations, but also believes his team will be tough to beat if they begin the tournament with the same intensity that they showed against New Zealand at Twickenham in November.

Stuart Lancaster’s charges started poorly against the All Blacks, conceding tries to Julian Savea and eventual IRB Player of the Year Kieran Read during a nervous first quarter.

However, an exceptional performance from the pack – with try-scorer Launchbury prominent – hauled the hosts back into the game, allowing Owen Farrell to kick them into a 22-20 lead with 20 minutes to go.

Highlighting triumphs over Australia and Argentina on the two previous weekends, the 22 year-old lock suggested that a winning mentality is being bred into this England set-up.

“We’re a bunch of young, ambitious guys and we understand that not everything is 100 percent right but we’re working hard to get there,” he explained.

“In patches throughout November we played some good stuff – we beat two good southern hemisphere sides and then narrowly missed out to the best team in the world. A mark of how far we’ve come is that we were massively disappointed by losing that game.

“We really thought we were in with a good chance being ahead with 15 or 20 minutes to go. It’s a good sign but we need to keep going – what we don’t want to do now is drop off.

“At the start of February we need to be right up where we left off at the end of the New Zealand game. It’s exciting – my first Six Nations was last year and I’m looking forward to hopefully playing a part again this year.”

England travel to Paris to take on France in the Six Nations opener on February 1, with Lancaster's side hit by the loss of a number of key players through injury. Passing off the injury concerns in the squad as “an opportunity to see what others can do”, Launchbury turned to his personal hopes.

Having suffered a slight dip in form towards the end of last season – a nadir coming at the Millennium Stadium when Wales derailed England’s Grand Slam bid with a comprehensive 3-30 defeat – the young London Wasp seemed determined to maintain his fine form.

“I think the main thing for me is I’m constantly learning – a lot of the things I’m doing, I’m doing them for the first time.

“For me to start my second season in international rugby has been a learning curve. Now I can learn from my experiences – the end of last season wasn’t my best and I want to make sure I put in a full season.”

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0
France 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0