Rugby Union

Joe Launchbury embarrassed by "strange" man of the match award against Wallabies

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Joe Launchbury admits there will be no place on the mantelpiece for the "embarrassing" man of the match award he received as England crashed out of the Rugby World Cup.

Moments after the hosts had been routed by Australia on Saturday, sealing their tournament demise, Launchbury was forced to give a pitch-side interview at Twickenham upon being handed his trophy.

It was among the 24-year-old's finest performances in an England jersey, but Bernard Foley and David Pocock were outstanding for the Wallabies and would have been worthier recipients.

The voting system sees a shortlist of three selected by the tournament's world feed radio before fans choose their preferred choice on social media, but on this occasion the recognition was unwelcome.

"It was extremely strange to be named man of the math. It was embarrassing and it definitely won't go on the mantelpiece at home," Launchbury said.

"It was a strange award that could have gone to a whole host of guys on their team.

"The most important thing for them was winning the game, so I don't think they'll be too disappointed.

"I'd been out of the game for a long time and that was my first proper start for a while. I wanted to impress as much as I could.

"Individually parts of my game went quite well, but the overriding emotions were hurt and frustration."

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