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Harlequins sign England lock Launchbury

Former Wasps captain and England international Joe Launchbury will join Quins after a stint in Japan

England lock and former Wasps captain Joe Launchbury has signed for Harlequins from next season.

The 31-year-old, who recently joined Toyota Verblitz in Japan after Wasps went into administration, will move to Quins in the summer.

“I’m looking forward to my time in Japan for the rest of this season but am very excited for the new start with Harlequins,” he told the club websiteexternal-link.

“With the style of rugby this squad plays – I know it will be exciting.”

Launchbury came through the Harlequins academy as a teenager before joining Wasps and going on to make 170 appearances for the club over 12 years before they were suspended from the Premiership last month.

“I have fond memories of my time here in the academy,” he added.

“I grew up playing with and against a number of the first team squad, so it has a somewhat familiar feel to come back to Harlequins.”

Launchbury has won 70 caps for England and was named their player of the year in 2012-13.

Harlequins head coach Tabai Matson believes he still has plenty of rugby left in him.

“He is one of the best English locks of his generation,” he said.

“Joe’s a gentleman of the game but is no slouch when it comes to the most physical part of the sport.

“We are glad to be able to offer Joe his next role in rugby alongside some familiar faces.”

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