Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Dallaglio: Bring Me Back and I'll Help Stop the Rot

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Dallaglio: Bring Me Back and I'll Help Stop the Rot

Article excerpt

LAWRENCE DALLAGLIO today put himself forward as the man to help turn around the fortunes of English rugby.

As Andy Robinson was completing the formalities of his departure as England coach, Dallaglio was linking up with the World XV he will captain against South Africa in Leicester on Sunday.

The Wasps star believes he can help revive England's fortunes by winning the Calcutta Cup against Scotland at Twickenham on 3 February in their first game of the Six Nations.

Robinson was planning to let the former England captain lead the line again in last Saturday's second Test clash with South Africa, only to stick with Martin Corry. The result was an eighth defeat in nine matches, prompting Robinson's departure today.

Failing to make that telephone call to Dallaglio goes down as yet another selection blunder by the head coach during his two-year reign. England needed Dallaglio's very personal style of leadership to offer something different in an autumn international series that fell flat.

Dallaglio knows he has to justify his England recall by performing for Wasps, but the World XV fixture is a useful shop window to prove he can still live with the best at international level.

He said: "It is very upsetting when a team you have helped take to the top as World Cup winners is diminished and drops from No1 to No7 in the rankings in just three years. It is pretty dramatic stuff.

"But I am convinced that out of the ashes English rugby will rise again, and the first step along the road to recovery will be to win the Calcutta Cup against Scotland in the first Six Nations match.

"Selection is out of my hands but I am still playing and I would relish the opportunity to turn out for England again. However, there are lot of other talented players in the Guinness Premiership.

"England can start again with a blank piece of paper in the Six Nations. …

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