Launchbury ruled out of QBE Internationals

  • Wasps lock Launchbury out for up to eight weeks with neck injury
  • Kitchener called up, Myler and Burrell remain at Saints

England and Wasps lock Joe Launchbury has been ruled of the 2014 QBE Internationals after it emerged that his neck injury requires six to eight weeks of rest and rehabilitation.

The 23 year-old, who has started England’s last 20 Test matches, has an going irritation to a nerve in his neck and will remain at his club for treatment as part of a joint programme between the club and England medical teams.

Uncapped Leicester Tigers lock Graham Kitchener, who captained an England VX against the Barbarians last June, has been added to squad to prepare for Saturday’s opening QBE International against New Zealand at Twickenham Stadium.

England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster said: “It’s obviously disappointing but it’s important for Joe, England and Wasps that he has the appropriate rest and recovery period and we are confident that he will be back in the New Year.”

London Irish hooker David Paice will also join the squad for the start of the week to ensure he is up to speed should he be required, joining front-line hooking duo Dylan Hartley and Rob Webber.

Northampton Saints pair Stephen Myler – who is suffering from a mild hamstring strain – and Luther Burrell (hand) will remain at Franklin’s Gardens for assessment and treatment. But Lancaster remains optimistic that centre Burrell will play some part in the autumn fixtures, which continue against South Africa, Samoa and Australia on successive Saturdays.

“Luther has seen the specialist and, while the news is positive that he could be available later in the series, he will stay with the Saints medical team this week and we will look to bring him into camp further down the line,” Lancaster added.

England Squad

Loose-head props
Joe Marler (Harlequins)
Matt Mullan (Wasps)

Tight-head props
Kieran Brookes (Newcastle Falcons)
Henry Thomas (Bath Rugby)
David Wilson (Bath Rugby)

Hookers
Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
David Paice (London Irish)
Rob Webber (Bath Rugby)

Locks
Dave Attwood (Bath Rugby)
Graham Kitchener (Leicester Tigers)
George Kruis (Saracens)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)

Back rows
Calum Clark (Northampton Saints)
James Haskell (Wasps)
Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby)
Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, captain)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens)
Tom Wood (Northampton Saints)

Scrum halves
Danny Care (Harlequins)
Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens)

Fly halves
Owen Farrell (Saracens)
George Ford (Bath Rugby)

Centres
Brad Barritt (Saracens)
Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby)

Back threes
Mike Brown (Harlequins)
Alex Goode (Saracens)
Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby)
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)
Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby)
Marland Yarde (Harlequins)


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