Fixtures - Top Bar

Joe Launchbury excited for return to Aviva Stadium with Wasps

Joe Launchbury is returning to the scene of his latest disappointment on Saturday, but the Wasps second row insists any frustration from his last trip to the Aviva Stadium won’t rear its ugly head as he takes on Leinster in a crunch Champions Cup quarter-final.

On March 18 Launchbury travelled to the Aviva Stadium to take on Ireland with England, defending an 18-match winning run and looking to make history with back-to-back Grand Slams.

But while England still lifted a second successive RBS 6 Nations trophy, they were unable to write their name in the record books as Ireland won 13-9.

This Saturday the 25-year-old returns to the Aviva Stadium, but this time it is to captain Wasps against Leinster with a spot in the final four of this season’s Champions Cup up for grabs.

Launchbury isn’t the only Wasps going back to Dublin, with James Haskell and Elliot Daly also starting the defeat against Ireland.

There will be a few familiar faces in Leinster shirts too with Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, Jonathan Sexton, Jack McGrath, Tadhg Furlong and Sean O’Brien all starting having done so for the Men in Green too.

But despite the similarities Launchbury is treating Saturday’s clash as a completely separate entity.

“I think it’s completely different; we’ve obviously got a few guys who were out there and they have gone through the same, but it’s a different group,” Launchbury said.

“It’s obviously fresh in my memory and I can hopefully relay some messages this week about what we can probably expect and I hope that can help the team, but overall it’s a different group of players and set of circumstances.

“We’ve got a whole squad here who have worked extremely hard to get into this position. We’ve got ourselves out of a very tough pool, there were times when we weren’t favourites to get out of it, so we want to do ourselves justice now.

“Leinster have obviously got some key players in their team who were important figures in the Ireland team, so naturally those individuals will shape how they play this weekend.

“They have quality throughout. You look at a player like Johnny Sexton and the influence he has on a team, that doesn’t disappear when he goes back to his club, so they have a similar style in some ways but obviously in other ways they’ll be different.”

In last season’s Champions Cup Wasps beat Leinster in both pool clashes, winning 33-6 on the road and 51-10 at the Ricoh Arena.

But Launchbury is under no illusions as to how big a challenge Leinster pose this weekend.

“For us as a team it’s exciting more than anything else; it’s a chance for us to go out there on a big stage and show what we can do,” he added.

“We’ve worked hard to get ourselves here, we’ve had a few big games over the last couple of years that we can draw on as experience and we want to keep having these big games.

“To go to the Aviva and get a win would be huge for us.”

Tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final is on 27 May at Twickenham are now on sale. If you want to have an unforgettable day out at club rugby’s best Cup Final then click here for tickets.

Latest News

AUDIO: Preview of this weekend’s Aviva Premiership action

It's the penultimate round of regular-season matches in the Aviva Premiership this weekend - Russell Hargreaves has the details.

Saracens name side to face Bristol Rugby

Saracens have named their team to face Bristol in round 21 of the Aviva Premiership on Saturday at Allianz Park,…

Schalk Brits

Northampton Saints team news versus Exeter Chiefs

The Northampton Saints team has been named for the Aviva Premiership Round 21 trip to Exeter. Injuries to Louis Picamoles…

JJ Hanrahan

Garvey to start for Bath Rugby in West Country derby

Matt Garvey will make his first start for Bath Rugby since January in the West Country Aviva Premiership derby against…

Matt Garvey

Gloucester Rugby make just one change for trip to Bath

Gloucester Rugby keep faith with the majority of the side that triumphed in La Rochelle last weekend, making just one…

Mariano Galarza

Exeter Chiefs side to face Northampton Saints

Rob Baxter says it’s vital his Exeter Chiefs grasp every opportunity afforded to them as they look to maintain their…

Gareth Steenson

Leicester Tigers team news for final home game

Graham Kitchener and Adam Thompstone will make their 100th starting appearances in a Leicester Tigers shirt in the final home…

Adam Thompstone

Team News for Bristol Rugby to face Saracens

Olly Robinson returns to the starting line-up as Bristol Rugby face reigning Premiership champions Saracens on Saturday (3pm KO). The…

Olly Robinson

Four Changes For Sharks Ahead of Tigers Clash

Sale Sharks have named their side to take on Leicester Tigers this Saturday at Welford Road in the Aviva Premiership…

Josh Charnley

Callum Chick not given up on top-six finish for Newcastle Falcons

Promising Newcastle Falcons flanker Callum Chick hasn't given up on helping his side qualify for a Champions Cup place next…

Jack Singleton still buzzing after baptism of fire at Worcester Warriors

Jack Singleton admits he never expected to get as much Aviva Premiership Rugby game time as he has had this…

Saracens sign Wales international lock Dominic Day

Saracens have completed the signing of Wales international lock forward Dominic Day for the for the upcoming 2017/18 season. 31-year…

Dominic Day

Tom Heathcote extends his stay at Worcester Warriors

Worcester Warriors are delighted to announce that Scotland international Tom Heathcote has put pen to paper on a new contract…

Tom Heathcote

Minimum standards criteria results

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has considered the findings of an independent audit report of the Greene King IPA Championship…

World Rugby welcomes Berlin Consensus Statement on concussion in sport

Expert group publishes comprehensive review of scientific papers on concussion Rugby continues to be aligned with recommended best practice Cross-sport…

Mark Lambert issues rallying call for Harlequins’ top-six push

A third season in a row without top flight European rugby is not an option for a club of Harlequins’…

Gloucester’s Henry Trinder: Top-six place at stake adds to West Country derby

Gloucester will be travelling to The Rec for their West Country derby against Bath in the Aviva Premiership on Sunday…

Henry Trinder

Referee appointments: Barnes, Garner and Doyle all in action

Three of Aviva Premiership Rugby’s most experienced referees will take to the field this weekend as another highly-charged round of…

The Premiership Rugby Final Photographic competition

To mark exactly one month to go to the 15th Premiership Rugby Final, on 27 May, Premiership Rugby are holding a…

Owen Farrell