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Last Updated: Friday, 5 January 2007, 10:55 GMT
Dallaglio clings to England hopes
Lawrence Dallaglio
The inspirational Dallaglio still hopes to add to his 77 caps
Lawrence Dallaglio is refusing to accept his international career is over despite being left out of England's senior squads under coach Brian Ashton.

Dallaglio, 34, has won 77 England caps and came back out of international retirement in 2005 to stake a claim for this year's World Cup in France.

But he was left on the bench by former England coach Andy Robinson and has struggled for form at club side Wasps.

"I don't think we've seen the last chapter just yet," said Dallaglio.

You can't be any more dangerous as a player than when you're slightly wounded

Lawrence Dallaglio

"I've suspected for the past four or five weeks there was every possibility that I would not be named in the squad, so it's not come as a huge surprise. It's a fair call.

"But perhaps this is just the proverbial kick up the backside I need.

"You can't be any more dangerous as a player than when you're slightly wounded.

"There is no doubt I am in that situation but, despite what the knockers might think, I do not see this as terminal."

The number eight, a key member of England's World Cup-winning side in 2003, revealed he had recently had a long talk with England forwards coach John Wells on his future.

"I had a very honest discussion with John a few weeks ago," said Dallaglio.

"We agreed on a number of things. I know what is expected of me and what the possibilities are.

"I am looking forward to producing a typical response in the coming weeks. The ball is now firmly in my court.

"I feel physically there's perhaps another level I can reach and I can start to dominate games in the way I'm used to doing.

Dallaglio retired from international rugby in September 2004 but changed his mind after his third Lions tour in 2005 was ended after only 20 minutes by injury.

It's important that everyone gets behind England and becomes part of the solution as opposed to part of the problem


After announcing his comeback, Dallaglio was forced to play second fiddle to skipper Martin Corry, making just four appearances as a second-half substitute in England's 11 games.

He was critical of the regime under Robinson but insisted it is time for the nation to unite behind England and new captain Phil Vickery.

"I think we were all confused last year," he said. "Martin Corry did a very good job in very difficult circumstances.

"I know how he felt because I've been there but Phil is absolutely the right choice to take over.

"I'm as passionate and devoted to England, whether I'm out of the squad or in it. It's important that everyone gets behind them and becomes part of the solution as opposed to part of the problem.

"I might have a few regrets about retiring from international competition in the first place but certainly none about coming out of retirement.

"There is no sentiment in sport and I've been around long enough to appreciate that.

"You don't have a God-given right to choose how you finish but you do have a God-given right to bounce back from whatever situation you are in."

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