Saturday 24 March 2018

Launchbury: There's more to come from England - we won't drop off

England's Joe Launchbury during training. Photo: REUTERS
England's Joe Launchbury during training. Photo: REUTERS
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Joe Launchbury's soft tones don't fit his hulking frame as he settles himself into a chair, but his polite words are laced with intent for Ireland.

Despite sticking 61 points on Scotland to claim a second successive Six Nations title last weekend, there is no let-up for this England team, who are planning on being better in Dublin.

On Saturday night, they gathered with their families for a quiet drink at their team base, a million miles from the celebration they'll enjoy in the Irish capital if they can complete another Grand Slam.

England were outstanding against a poor Scotland side who never got going at Twickenham and Launchbury reckons there's more to come.

"It was pleasing," the Wasps captain said. "Every win in the Six Nations should be cherished and you should enjoy each victory but there were parts of our game we weren't satisfied with; to get the fast start we have looked for and not got was pleasing. . .

"We were very satisfied with the win but it won't count for much unless we get the preparation right for this weekend.


"We fully understand the position we're in. Although we might touch on it, it's not so much that it needs to be overly addressed.

"It's not often you get to the position we're in to have won the tournament with a week to spare, but that won't change anything for us in terms of having to win every game because that's what you come into the Six Nations knowing you have to do.

"We're happy with our position, but we feel we've grown a bit as the tournament has gone on and it'd be a massive shame to let that drop off.

"We feel we've been building as the tournament's gone on, we're pleased with the results that we've had and we definitely want to finish in a good, strong way.

"We want to put out a performance that we can be really proud of."

Of immediate concern for Launchbury is Ireland's set-piece and the lineout in particular.

As Scotland and Wales have shown, the key to stopping the men in green is to deny them clean ball out of touch.

"We've certainly looked at what we can do there," he said. "They're dangerous at set-piece and we won't take them lightly, they score a lot of tries off set-piece play.

"This weekend is just a great opportunity for the squad. Although we'll give them the respect they deserve and look at them thoroughly, for us if we can put out what we'd like to put out, we'll be pleased."

Irish Independent

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