5th Dec, 2016

Wasps star Joe Launchbury tipped for England Captaincy

Steve Carpenter 8th Dec, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

EDDIE Jones officially started his job as England head coach on Tuesday and his first order of business should be to give Joe Launchbury the captaincy – according to former England star Lewis Moody.

Launchbury was one of the few Red Rose stars to emerge with any credit following England’s disastrous pool stage exit at this autumn’s World Cup.

At the age of only 24 and with only 28 Test caps to his name, some might think it is too soon to be thrusting international captaincy upon Launchbury.

But with question marks over Chris Robshaw’s place in the squad moving forward, the Wasps lock is one of the few England stars guaranteed to be in the starting XV when fit.

And Moody, who won the World Cup in 2003 and captained England in 2011, thinks giving Launchbury the captaincy at a young age would replicate the All Black policy taken with Richie McCaw, who became captain of the All Blacks back in 2006 at the age of 25.

“Joe’s a young, exciting talent,” said Moody. He didn’t play as much as he would have liked during the World Cup because he was coming back from injury but he’s clearly got a cool head on his shoulders.

“He’s a wonderful player and when he comes on he makes a difference. That’s what you need, you have to say that your captain makes a difference in your team.

“Maybe we’ve been missing a bit of that in the forwards. And if you appoint someone at a young stage, you give them the opportunity to learn the trade.

“It’s something, at international level, you have to keep developing as a captain. Richie McCaw is a great example of that.

“It will come down to someone the coaches and players respect. It certainly needs to be someone that is delivering on the pitch week in, week out and is probably the first name on the team sheet.”

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