FORMER Worthing Raiders Rugby Club star Joe Launchbury has been handed a three-year contract at London Wasps.
Launchbury, 20, who played for Raiders in the 2009-10 season, was recommended by then head coach Will Green, to the coaches at his old club Wasps, who saw his potential and enrolled him into their famous academy.
Having graduated from the academy, picking up the young player and academy player of the season awards, Launchbury made his Aviva Premiership debut for the first team against Leicester Tigers in February.
The lock, who can also play in the back row, has now started four games and made three replacement appearances since breaking into the side.
Launchbury said: “I’m pleased that the club have shown faith in me by offering me a lengthy contract and I was delighted to sign it.
“From a personal point of view, this season has been great for me and I didn’t think I would get as many first-team opportunities as I have.
“I’ve got a lot to learn and with the quality of coaching we get at Wasps, as well as the experienced players I have around me, this is the right place for me.”
The ex-Raider has also been capped by England under-20s in their Grand Slam clinching Six Nations triumph and is part of the England squad for the upcoming Junior World Championships in Italy.
Wasps head coach, Shaun Edwards, said: “It is marvellous news for the club that Joe has signed a new deal. Players like Joe are the future of Wasps and he is a dedicated professional who works incredibly hard on all aspects of his game.
“He is improving all the time and, hopefully, that can result in him having a very successful career at all levels.”