Former Wasps captain Joe Launchbury to join Harlequins ahead of 2023-24 season

Former Wasps captain Joe Launchbury will join Harlequins ahead of the 2023-24 Gallagher Premiership season.

The England lock, who was last month made redundant after Wasps entered administration, has agreed a “multi-year deal” with Quins.

He will spend the remainder of this campaign in Japan, having recently joined Toyota Verblitz on a short-term contract.

Launchbury, who has 70 England caps and was part of his country’s squads at the last two World Cups, was a member of Harlequins’ academy between the ages of 15 and 18.

“I’m glad to sign on with Quins,” he told the club website. “I have fond memories of my time here.

“I grew up playing with and against a number of the first-team squad, so it has a somewhat familiar feel to come back.

“I’m looking forward to my time in Japan for the rest of this season, but am very excited for the new start with Harlequins over the summer.”

Joe Launchbury, centre, has 70 caps for England
Joe Launchbury (centre) has 70 caps for England (David Davies/PA)

Quins head coach Tabai Matson said: “He is one of the best English locks of his generation.

“Earning 70 caps for your country and over 170 for a club as prestigious as Wasps, many as their captain, is no mean feat.

“Joe’s a gentleman of the game but is no slouch when it comes to the most physical part of the sport.”