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England blow as Joe Launchbury ruled out of all autumn Tests after undergoing knee surgery

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 12/10/2018 Telegraph Sport
a man holding a ball: Joe Launchbury will be sidelined for 10 to 12 weeks © pa Joe Launchbury will be sidelined for 10 to 12 weeks

England have been dealt a major injury blow with Wasps captain Joe Launchbury being ruled out of their autumn Tests.

Wasps have confirmed that the 27-year-old lock has undergone knee surgery and faces 10 to 12 weeks out.

It means the 54 times-capped forward will miss England's appointments with South Africa, world champions New Zealand, Japan and Australia next month.

Launchbury has been a key player for Eddie Jones, left © Getty Images Launchbury has been a key player for Eddie Jones, left

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He is also sidelined for Wasps' first four Heineken Champions Cup group games against Leinster, Bath and Toulouse (home and away).

Launchbury suffered the injury during Wasps' Gallagher Premiership victory over Leicester last month.

If Wasps' lay-off prediction proves accurate, then he is unlikely to play again this year.

And England head coach Eddie Jones must now add his name to an injury list that also includes the likes of Anthony Watson, Sam Simmonds and Ellis Genge, while Harlequins prop Joe Marler recently retired from Test rugby.

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Jones' second-row resources include Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes and George Kruis, but Launchbury has proved to be among England's most consistent performers.

Jones is due to name his autumn Test squad next week, with the opening November game against the Springboks just 22 days away.

Wasps, meanwhile, also confirmed that scrum-half Dan Robson is due to have an ankle operation on Friday and will be out for 12 weeks.

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