Dai Young would be 'surprised and disappointed' if Joe Launchbury doesn't sign a new Wasps contract by the end of the month

Launchbury's contract runs out at the end of the season but Wasps hope the relocation to Coventry will persuade him to extend his stay and not join Saracens

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The Independent Online

Dai Young would be "surprised and disappointed" if England lock Joe Launchbury does not agree a new Wasps contract by the end of the month.

Rugby director Young believes Wasps have "ticked all the boxes" in proving to Launchbury his future is best served remaining with the Aviva Premiership club.

Wasps expect a "sustainable" financial future based on their December move to Coventry's Ricoh Arena will fend off suitors like Saracens, who are monitoring Launchbury's situation with his current deal expiring next summer.

Young revealed he went three months without pay in the depths of Wasps' two-year battle for solvency, and now hopes club "backbone" Launchbury will seize the opportunity to spearhead a successful future.


"We'd be surprised and disappointed if he leaves, but there are no guarantees in life," Young told Press Association Sport.

"We had to demonstrate to Joe that this is the right place for him to stay, first and foremost.

"We had to have a competitive squad, enough players in his position (so) he won't be overplayed, we've got to have ambition as a club, playing in the top tournament - and the last thing really was we had to be sustainable, not relying really on the generosity of one person.

"So we've pretty much ticked all the boxes I believe.

"That doesn't mean to say that Joe or all our best players are going to stay, because that's life, but certainly from my point of view I think the club have done as much as they could to keep our best players, Joe being one of them.

"It was never planned to talk until the middle of October so over the next couple of weeks we'll start talking, and we should have a real steer by the end of October."

Former Wales prop Young believes Launchbury will not desert Wasps just as the club's fortunes are set to rise.

"I didn't actually get paid for three months, that's the reality," said Young of Wasps' two-year money troubles.

"There were a lot of things going on behind the scenes that the players didn't realise.

"It was a big burden but things are improving now.

"I would never criticise a player for leaving, but I don't see any reason to leave now, not now everything's going in the right direction.

"Joe has been the backbone of this team and helped keep it afloat; so it would be really nice to see him achieve something here.

"He's had all his England caps from here, so it's not as though he hasn't achieved what he wanted as a player, even through difficult times."