- Stuart Lancaster discusses Launchbury, Care, Morgan and France with RFUtv
- Interim Head Coach wants players of the future to experience England camp
Stuart Lancaster has given Wasps and England Saxons lock Joe Launchbury an opportunity experience life with England by calling him into the squad as cover for the injured Courtney Lawes.
Lawes has returned to Northampton Saints for treatment on a shin injury that could rule him out for England’s final two games of the RBS 6 Nations.
England’s Interim Head Coach has said in the past he wants to give potential future England players a chance to experience life within the England camp with Harlequins hooker Chris Brooker drafted into the squad ahead of the Wales game last month.
Lancaster told RFUtv that 20-year-old Launchbury, who will train with England on Tuesday and Wednesday, earned his call-up after good performances for his club.
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“What we are trying to do with players like Joe is just to give some of the younger lads the experience to come into the squad, to get a feel for Pennyhill, get a feel for training with England,” he explained.
“We picked him for the Saxons for a reason – he was one of the form players in the 20s last year. He has done extremely well with Wasps at the start of the season until he got injured.
“It was the same mind-set with Chris Brooker last week. Unfortunately for Chris, he has picked up an injury at the weekend. But it’s a great opportunity for Joe to have two days with us.”
Lancaster on Care
England’s preparations for the clash with France were over-shadowed by yesterday’s announcement that Harlequins scrum half Danny Care, who was dropped from the England squad in January after a drink-driving incident on New Year’s Day, had been cautioned by police for being drunk and disorderly following a night out in Leeds at the weekend.
While expressing his “disappointment” at Care’s actions which he said had let the player down, Lancaster added: “I spoke to him [Care] briefly on the phone [and] fully support Conor [O’Shea] and Harlequins in their action and my role really is to try and get Danny back into a place where he can really challenge to play for England again.
“I’ll spend some time with him as and when it is appropriate, speak to him about my thoughts and certainly work with him and try and get him back to where we all want him.”
Turning his thoughts to the clash in Paris on Sunday, Lancaster said he was expecting a physical encounter against a France side that came back from 17-6 down to draw 17-all against Ireland at the weekend.
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He said: “I thought France did extremely well in the second half to get back into the game and probably put themselves into a position where they could have won it.
“I think both sides were slightly frustrated by the draw. It was a hugely physical game and big Test match intensity. Very experienced sides on both sides and we are going to a stadium in France where they have never been beaten for the last ten games now in the Six Nations.
“So, it is going to be a huge challenge, a physical challenge but we have had a good break over the last four days. There’s been some good Premiership action and the boys are back in tonight and ready to go.”
Lancaster announced yesterday that scrum half Karl Dickson had been re-called to the squad again after Joe Simpson suffered a dislocated shoulder during Wasps' win over London Irish at the weekend.
The Harlequins no. 9 will join his younger brother Lee Dickson in training on Wednesday after returning from holiday and Lancaster is expecting a “competitive” atmosphere once again.
Lancaster also welcomed No. 8 Ben Morgan’s move from the Scarlets to Gloucester next season saying it would "help us from a rugby point of view". While praising the Welsh side for the work they had done with him since May 2009, Morgan said yesterday that he wished to further his international ambitions with an English club.