Joe Launchbury has hailed the emergence of youngsters Joe Cokanasiga and Tom Curry for England during their Six Nations campaign.
Fijian-born wing Cokanasiga impressed on his first Six Nations start against Italy, while Curry has been a mainstay at openside flanker throughout the tournament.
While Cokanasiga will not feature in the final fixture against Scotland, coach Eddie Jones insisted the back had a very bright future for his country.
Joe Cokanasiga produced an excellent display on his first Six Nations start for England
Joe Launchbury believes emergence of Cokanasiga and Launchbury is due to squad culture
Launchbury, a veteran of 57 Tests at lock, backed that view and felt the players’ form spoke of the positive environment within the England squad currently.
Launchbury said: ‘Joe was not only great against Italy, he had some great games in November, and he has been a pleasure to watch. He’s powerful and still so young.
‘It’s a real testament to the environment that has been created that young guys like Joe and Tom can come in at such a young age, potentially seen as inexperienced, that they can come in to this environment that they can play to such a high standard.
‘It shows not only the talent they’ve got but also the environment and culture we have developed here that these guys can come in a feel completely part of the squad and is a real vindication of what we are working towards.’
Cokanasiga will not play against Scotland but Eddie Jones believes he will have a bright future
With the World Cup looming, Launchbury is confident England can rely on the young players establishing themselves in the team.
He also believes Curry can play a significant role in the potential championship decider against Scotland on Saturday.
He said: ‘We are really fortunate that although we have some young players they already have some pretty serious top-line games under their belt.
‘The way we play it here we try and make it as clear as possible as to what we want at the weekend and how we want to perform to make it as easy as possible for these guys come in and play as well as they have been.
‘In these big games towards the end of the Six Nations, picking up wins in these big games is what is important, and the ability for these guys, no matter their experience, to come in and play their role is vital.’
Launchbury backed Italy to keep improving despite a 21st consecutive Six Nations defeat
England’s crushing 57-14 defeat of Italy on Saturday, to inflict their 21st straight tournament loss, renewed calls for promotion and relegation to be introduced to the Six Nations.
However, Launchbury insisted he had seen progress in recent years and believes they deserve their place in the tournament on merit.
He said: ‘All I’ve known in my history is watching the Six Nations as it is now, and Italy are a huge part of it.
‘They are a pretty passionate rugby nation and I love playing in Rome, they get fantastic, passionate crowds and I think they are a large part of the Six Nations.
‘There has been definite progress in terms of the professionalism, the fitness levels, their physicality levels, they are a really hard side.
‘Especially for me as a tight five forward you know you have to be on it against them – they were very physical with the ball and they really tested us for large parts.’
Quilter is a principal partner of England Rugby. Find out more at www.quilter.com
21 total views, 3 views today