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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 February 2008, 11:47 GMT
Cipriani should start - Dallaglio
Danny Cipriani
Cipriani made his England debut as a replacement in the loss to Wales
Lawrence Dallaglio says Wasps team-mate Danny Cipriani has the X-factor and should be in England's starting XV - but not in place of Jonny Wilkinson.

The ex-England captain thinks Wilkinson is approaching something near his best again and believes fly-half Cipriani, 20, should replace Ian Balshaw.

"I would play Cipriani at full-back," Dallaglio told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"He has a huge amount to offer - he has got that X-factor - and his form is a little bit better than Balshaw's."

Dallaglio also believes Cipriani would benefit from learning the international game in a position that is not so exposed as stand-off.

"The responsibility of playing 10 is a huge one," said the 35-year-old forward. "To throw someone like Danny in there and say 'run the show' and expect him to be better than Jonny is a big ask.

606: DEBATE
BBC Sport's Phil Gordos

"What Danny needs is an introduction to international rugby, to find the pace of the game and find his feet.

"Maybe that could be better served done at 15, where you get a chance to read and understand the game.

"It's what we did (at Wasps). We introduced him at 15, he played a season for us there and played in the Heineken Cup final at full-back.

"He went on to become the number 10. I think that would be a good way to introduce him into the England team."

Danny is learning every week... what better way to do that than play alongside someone like Wilkinson

Lawrence Dallaglio

Dallaglio also feels Cipriani, who made his England debut as a replacement for Mike Tindall against Wales earlier in February, would benefit from playing in the same team as Wilkinson.

"Danny is learning every week," he added. "What better way to do that than play alongside someone like Wilkinson."

Dallaglio, who announced his international retirement after England's defeat to South Africa in the World Cup final, is also keen to see Lesley Vainikolo given more opportunities to trouble opposing defences.

The giant Gloucester winger, a former New Zealand rugby league international who recently switched codes, made a big impact in the 24-13 win over France in Paris on Saturday whenever he had the ball in his hands.

"I'd like to see Lesley Vainikolo used as effectively as possible and I just wish England would just use him more," said Dallaglio.

Lesley Vainikolo takes on the French defence in Paris
Winger Vainikolo takes some stopping when he is in full flow
"Every time I've seen him get the ball it either takes three or four defenders to bring him down or he does something pretty good.

"Space is at a premium on a rugby union pitch and if he can attract three or four defenders and we can get quick ball we should be able to use that to our advantage really."

England, who sit fourth in the Six Nations table, continue their campaign against Scotland at Murrayfield on 8 March.

Dallaglio says Brian Ashton's side will be full of confidence after the win over the French.

"Make no mistake, beating France in Paris is a big scalp," said Dallalgio. "The players really stood up and were counted.

"Brian Ashton put them under a lot of pressure and I really felt the likes of Wilkinson, who had been under a lot of pressure, Phil Vickery, Simon Shaw and these sorts of guys did really step up to the plate and produce a decent performance.

"It's good for the coaching team because they have been under pressure as well. It's just nice to have a performance that makes the country feel proud."



SEE ALSO
Pick the England XV
09 Jan 08 |  English
Haskell doubt for Scotland clash
26 Feb 08 |  Rugby Union
France 13-24 England
23 Feb 08 |  Rugby Union
England suffer double injury blow
06 Feb 08 |  Rugby Union
Italy 19-23 England
10 Feb 08 |  Rugby Union
England 19-26 Wales
02 Feb 08 |  Rugby Union


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