Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Dallaglio's Faith in Wounded Warriors

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Dallaglio's Faith in Wounded Warriors

Article excerpt


LAWRENCE Dallaglio today insisted he will not have to deliver a passionate call to arms to ensure England rediscover their World Cup-winning form against New Zealand here on Saturday.

Dallaglio has been deeply hurt by the lack of passion shown by his players during the 36-3 defeat by the All Blacks in Dunedin.

The London Wasps captain has spoken to the players about what is required and is adamant the true England team will turn up at Eden Park and restore battered pride.

He said: "There's no need for a battle cry from me this weekend because I expect the players to be at the right level and we will compete.

"There are two ways to react after the defeat by New Zealand.

Either we can knock lumps out of each other in training as we have done for the best part of two years, or we go away and contemplate and understand what pulling on a white jersey means.

"If it means an awful lot and they want to continue wearing the jersey, then the standard of performance will have to be that much better and if people don't feel that way, then the performance will speak for itself.

"No one takes any prisoners over here and we know that England are not very popular and accept that. What I find very unpopular is us not playing to a level that I believe you should every time you pull on an England jersey."

England have made six changes for the second Test which means seven members of Dallaglio's Double-winning Wasps team are in the 22-man match squad for Saturday's clash. Those players posed for a special picture in Auckland today to mark the occasion and now Dallaglio expects to see the whole England team produce the kind of inspired rugby that brought Wasps Heineken Cup and English Premiership glory.

Dallaglio is adamant England "haven't become a bad team overnight" but there is increasing evidence that the process has started and victory - or at least fire and brimstone in a narrow defeat - is the only way to arrest the slide. …

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