Joe Launchbury replaces injured Lewis Ludlam in England squad

Joe Launchbury has played 69 Tests for England
Joe Launchbury has played 69 Tests for England

England coach Eddie Jones has recalled Joe Launchbury in the squad ahead of the second round of the Six Nations clash against Italy on Sunday.

The decision follows after Lewis Ludlam has sustained a rib injury that he sustained during the tournament opener against Scotland in the Calcutta Cup.

Launchbury's career has been hampered by injuries as he was forced to miss last year's Six Nations due to a stress fracture on his leg. He also sustained a serious knee injury in April.

"He is a good Test lock," said Jones on Launchbury.

"He's an outstanding mauler and is a guy who is tough on the one-pass play around the ruck. He brings a lot of experience and at the moment that is not something we have got a lot of.

"He is a great addition for us."

Courtney Lawes, who missed the game against Gregor Townsend as he is recovering from a concussion is not a confirmed starter for the weekend's game according to Jones.

"If you were a betting man, you wouldn't back it. He's coming along nicely, he's not far away and we're hopeful that he'll be ready for Wales," said Jones.

England are positioned fourth in the Six Nations tournament following the 17-20 defeat against Scotland.