Joe Launchbury: Wasps eye April return for England prop

By Chris JonesBBC Radio 5 live
Joe Launchbury
Joe Launchbury had started 20 England matches in a row before being ruled out of the autumn internationals

England lock forward Joe Launchbury could be fit to return for Wasps' final few Premiership games of the season in late April and early May.

The 23-year-old has not played since October because of a neck injury that eventually required surgery.

But Wasps director of rugby Dai Young is now hopeful that he can feature in their end-of-season run-in.

"Around the Exeter or Leicester game really, that's what we are hoping," Young told BBC Radio 5 live.

"Those are the games we are targeting. It will be like a new signing, to be honest. It will be great to have him back."

Wasps still buzzing for a big finish
Wasps sit sixth in the Premiership table in the last of the Champions Cup places. But they are seven points shy of the last top-four play-off spot.

Launchbury is expected to resume light contact training in the next week ahead of his bid to make England's squad for the World Cup in the autumn.

"I'm sure he will be in the training squad and have opportunities in the warm-up games," added Young.

"You have to take it one step at a time. But he's well down the track now. He's coming to the end stage of his rehab.

"He'll certainly play before the end of the season for us. He will get a couple of games under his belt."