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Wednesday, May 26, 1999 Published at 10:34 GMT 11:34 UK

Sport: Rugby Union

Tour leaves without Dallaglio

Dallaglio during a news conference on Tuesday

England's rugby union players leave for this summer's tour of Australia on Wednesday with the dust from the Lawrence Dallaglio affair far from settled.

Dallaglio special report
The investigating committee looking into Dallaglio's conduct are due to meet representatives of the newspaper which printed allegations of drug abuse against the former captain on Sunday.

The committee set up by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) wants to arrange to view the News of the World's videotapes of Dallaglio's alleged confession.

He resigned on Monday, but strenuously denies taking drugs during his rugby career, or selling illegal substances.

Island retreat

The squad's first destination is Australia's idyllic Couran Cove resort, situated on South Stradbroke Island off Queensland's Gold Coast.

And England coach Clive Woodward is still keen for his close friend Dallaglio to join the tour down under, provided the RFU clears him of any wrongdoing.

"I hope that when the inquiry reports, it will conclude that Lawrence was foolish and has suffered," said the coach.

"If that's the end of it, I would have no hesitation telling him to get on the next plane to Australia and choose him for the World Cup."

Leicester's championship-winning skipper Martin Johnson will lead England on the field during three weeks' intensive World Cup preparation, followed by games against Queensland and Australia.

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