Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Dallaglio Back Leading Troops

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Dallaglio Back Leading Troops

Article excerpt



LAWRENCE DALLAGLIO left Rome last night holding a souvenir shirt of one of Italy's footballing heroes and the England captaincy for their next international against Argentina in Buenos Aires on 22 June.

Dallaglio has been told by head coach Clive Woodward that he will regain the captaincy of his country three years after losing the role following a Rugby Football Union inquiry into newspaper allegations over his private life.

With Martin Johnson and Neil Back among a group of leading players excused duty for the four match tour of Argentina this summer, it will be Dallaglio's responsibility to keep their winning habit going against the Pumas.

Dallaglio scored a try to mark his return to Six Nations championship action exactly a year after his last outing as England ended their campaign with a workmanlike 45-9 win over Italy to finish runners-up to Grand Slam champions France.

Dallaglio needed knee surgery last June to save his rugby career and proved he could still be a force at the highest level with a 25-minute performance in a game that only fleetingly sprang to life.

After a shower, Dallaglio changed into his tracksuit to catch a plane back to London to ensure he was at London Wasps training today as they prepare for Wednesday's Zurich Premiership home game with second placed Gloucester.

The last item Dallaglio packed at the Stadio Flaminio was a Roma football shirt belonging to Italian star Francesco Totti, exchanged for one of his England rugby jerseys with an enterprising local.

Dallaglio, whose father is originally from Turin and is a Juventus fan, was delighted with the trade and could not hide his joy at being an England player again after a nine month battle for fitness after the operation.

Dallaglio said: "It's been 12 months since I have been in the England team and I was very nervous which gave me an edge. …

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