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Page last updated at 16:42 GMT, Saturday, 31 May 2008 17:42 UK
Twickenham, London, 31 May



Lawrence Dallaglio
Dallaglio was given a standing ovation by the Twickenham crowd

Retiring Wasps captain Lawrence Dallaglio was quick to deflect the adulation as his side beat Leicester 26-16 to win the Premiership final.

Dallaglio, 35, was given a standing ovation when he was replaced in the 68th minute, but was keen to share the spotlight with his team-mates.

"This was not about me, it was a wonderful squad effort," he said.

"We were 10th in the table around Christmas time, so this is probably our greatest achievement."

The former England skipper ended his rugby career after 15 years and 339 games in the top flight with Wasps, his only club.

"This win is testament to all the staff, players, coaches and fans of this great club. We're not blessed with the greatest of resources but we have heart and soul," he said.

"We have had some great days in the last few years but given where we were after the World Cup this is probably our greatest achievement.

"We played a mighty opponent today in Leicester and we always knew it was going to be tough. They came back at us but we held on and performed heroically."

Wasps head coach Shaun Edwards was full of praise for Dallaglio and was also pleased with his side's late charge towards the title.

"It's a fitting way for him to go out," he said.

"The reception from the crowd shows how much respect he has in the game, even among away fans. He's not just a player to me, he's like family."

Edwards added: "We've basically been playing play-off rugby since November. It was just a matter of trying to win the next game.

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"I think we really started to believe during the Six Nations when we got into a run of winning games without the internationals. That's something we haven't done in the last two or three years.

"I think that's a great sign of resilience, but we knew we'd have a tough time against Leicester, who are great competitors also."

England star Simon Shaw, named man of the match, admitted the strong start had been crucial to Wasps' victory.

"The first half was the focus for us going into the game, because whenever we have started well against Leicester, we have always ended up winning, though we went to sleep a bit during the second half," he said.

As for Dallaglio, Shaw added: "We didn't want it to be all about the big man. It's about every single man who put it in all season."

Wasps director of rugby Ian McGeechan and Leicester captain Martin Corry also paid tribute to Dallaglio's career.

As a competitor he has been a great man to play against and we have always had some great battles

Leicester captain Martin Corry

McGeechan said: "He is a fantastic example. He plays with emotion, talks with it and leads with it. That rubs off on the players and the coaches that he is involved with.

"I never thought I would see a game when the Wasps fans outnumbered Leicester in the crowd. That was down to Lawrence.

"I think a lot of people made a special effort today to come to this game because of the man."

Corry, a long-time rival, added: "You can just see by all the column inches he has had leading up to this game how highly he is regarded.

"All the plaudits he has had this week have been richly deserved. He has been magnificent for Wasps and England. As a competitor he has been a great man to play against and we have always had some great battles."


see also
Corry bemoans first-half failings
31 May 08 |  Rugby Union
Wasps 26-16 Leicester
31 May 08 |  Rugby Union
Premiership final as it happened
31 May 08 |  Rugby Union
Guinness Premiership photos
31 May 08 |  Rugby Union
Dallaglio's last stand
31 May 08 |  Rugby Union
Lawrence Dallaglio in pictures
22 May 08 |  Rugby Union
Loffreda upbeat on Tigers future
28 May 08 |  Leicester
Waters to leave Wasps for Treviso
27 May 08 |  London Wasps
Voyce to undergo shoulder surgery
21 May 08 |  London Wasps


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