sport

Joe: Launch into All Blacks

Joe Launchbury has told England they need to ditch the reverence and hit the All Blacks hard in Saturday's Twickenham showdown.

The Wasps lock played for the England Under-20s in the 2011 Junior World Cup final against the Baby Blacks, a side who had never lost a game at that level.

New Zealand won 33-22 in Padova but Launchbury's abiding memory of that occasion was that England afforded the Kiwis too much respect.

Owen Farrell, who will start at fly-half for England against the All Blacks on Saturday, Mako Vunipola and Jonathan Joseph were all in that Under-20s team.

"The Baby Blacks had never been beaten and they had won the trophy easily at every Junior World Cup," Launchbury said.

"We felt like they were untouchable and we couldn't get anywhere near them.

"It wasn't until we got out there and played our game that we realised we could turn these guys over. By the time we noticed, the chance had maybe gone.

"The respect we gave them in that game was a bit too much. New Zealand rugby is held in high regard but they are 15 men on the rugby field.

"We have talked before every game this autumn about making a big start. We did that against South Africa last week.

"I would like to think we would get stuck in right from the start.

"If you let the All Blacks juggernaut get rolling then it will be hard to stop. We have to impose what we want to do on them."

New Zealand are often held up as an example of how to build and evolve sides, by introducing new players into an environment of experience.

England coach Stuart Lancaster is aiming to follow the All Black blueprint but he is at year zero in the plan having had to oversee a major clear-out after the World Cup.

The likes of Farrell, Launchbury, Vunipola and Joseph have all made their Test debuts this year and it is noticeable that none of the 2011 Baby Blacks will be involved on Saturday.

But Lancaster is not overseeing a youth policy for the sake of it.

Launchbury has been one of the form players in the Aviva Premiership this season and he was rewarded with an England call-up and, last week against South Africa, his first Test start.

The 21-year-old made an immediate impact against one of the most physical teams in Test rugby.

In his 72 minutes on the field, Launchbury carried the ball 10 times, the joint second-highest contribution in the team.

He was the second top tackler with 11 and a 100 per cent success rate and he won two turnovers.

"The physical challenge of South Africa was massive and I really relished that," Launchbury said.

"Stuart is giving youth a chance but I'd like to think he's not just giving it a chance for the sake of it.

"I'd like to think I am here on the back of how I have played for Wasps and that is the same about all the young players here.

"We are inexperienced in Test rugby but hopefully we bring a lot to the party.

"I am really ready to face the All Blacks.

"There will be an element of thinking 'I am on the pitch with Richie McCaw' but I have played against guys I have seen on the TV before.

"It's just a case of getting out there and those players are just bodies getting in my way."