Joe Launchbury out of Lions contention after rupturing knee ligaments

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Andrew Baldock, PA Rugby Union Correspondent
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England and Wasps lock Joe Launchbury is out of contention for the British and Irish Lions’ South Africa tour after suffering a serious knee injury.

Wasps say their captain sustained “a complete rupture” of his anterior cruciate ligament during Sunday’s Gallagher Premiership victory over Bath.

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The normal recovery period for such an injury is between six and nine months.

Launchbury, who has won 69 caps, missed England’s Guinness Six Nations campaign this season because of a broken leg.

Lions head coach Warren Gatland is due to name his squad next week for this summer’s tour, and 30-year-old Launchbury would undoubtedly have been part of second-row discussions.

Wales v Fiji – Pool D – 2019 Rugby World Cup – Oita Stadium
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland (David Davies/PA)

In a statement, Wasps said: “Joe Launchbury sustained a complete rupture of his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during Sunday’s game against Bath Rugby.

“He has had a consultation with a knee specialist, who has confirmed that he will require surgery.

“Everyone at Wasps wishes Joe all the best for a speedy recovery.”