Joe Launchbury
Joe Launchbury is set to make his first appearance for Wasps since suffering a neck injury in October 2014Getty Images

Wasps are set to welcome back Joe Launchbury for their upcoming Aviva Premiership match against Leicester on 9 May, director of rugby Dai Young has confirmed.

The towering lock, who had previously established himself as a regular fixture in England's second row, has not played a single game for club or country since October 2014 after suffering from a bulging disc in his neck.

Having missed the Autumn internationals against Australia, Samoa, South Africa and New Zealand at Twickenham, Launchbury underwent surgery in December 2014 in order to correct a recurring nerve issue.

As well as ensuring he was absent for the majority of Wasps' domestic campaign and their foray into the quarter-finals of the inaugural European Champions Cup, the lay-off from that necessary procedure also ruled the 24-year-old out of the 2015 Six Nations tournament as England finished second to eventual winners Ireland in a gripping finale.

However, with his rehabilitation now seemingly complete, it is hoped Launchbury will be able to get back up to speed quickly with Wasps still chasing a top-four spot and England head coach Stuart Lancaster expected to name a 45-man training squad later this month ahead of the World Cup.

"We are really eager to get him on the field, it's like having a new signing," Young told the BBC. "He's been back more or less in full training for two to three weeks, he's more than happy and more than confident.

"He's looking excellent in training. He's well rested, really eager, and can't wait to get back on the field. So he could be a dangerous animal, not just for us in the last couple of games, but hopefully for England in the World Cup."

While Young is pleased to have Launchbury available for selection once more, he remains understandably cautious regarding the player's condition and confirmed the lock will start from the substitutes' bench at the Ricoh Arena.

He said: "He'll start on the bench, it would be silly to chuck him in. But certainly he will get plenty of game time and hopefully he can build on that. We're confident Joe is 100% healed and probably better than he was before. We would never put a player at risk if that wasn't the case."

Wasps are sixth in the Premiership after recording consecutive wins over rock-bottom London Welsh and Exeter. They trail fourth-placed Leicester by three points and visit London Irish in their final fixture of the season.