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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 July 2007, 22:01 GMT 23:01 UK
Dallaglio aims to make final cut
Lawrence Dallaglio trains with the England squad in Portugal
Dallaglio hopes to convince Brian Ashton he is worth a place in the 30
Lawrence Dallaglio has underlined his desire to be part of England's World Cup defence rather than face the pain of elimination from the final squad.

Coach Brian Ashton is set to reduce his 47-man party in the next few weeks with the final cut to 30 made by 14 August.

"This is an elimination camp at the moment," said former captain Dallaglio.

"Everyone is pretty happy and jolly now, but there are going to be some pretty unhappy people in a couple of weeks. I don't want to be one of them."

Head coach Brian Ashton says he is "getting a lot closer" to knowing the final make-up of his squad after several days with the Royal Marines in England and a week in Portugal.

I was playing with a considerable amount of pain during the last six weeks of the season

Lawrence Dallaglio
The players return home on Friday before reassembling in Bath next week for the next stage of their World Cup preparations.

"It may well be for the first two weeks in Bath the squad stays relatively the same number-wise, I am not quite sure about that yet," Ashton told BBC Five Live.

"But after that we have to seriously think about narrowing it down as close to the final 30 players as possible."

Dallaglio's last involvement in an England squad was during the 2006 Six Nations, but has been recalled after a surge in form in the knock-out stages of Wasps' Heineken Cup success.

The 34-year-old revealed he played the final six weeks of the season nursing a cartilage problem in his left knee, and has subsequently undergone a minor operation.

"I am recovering from that but I have been training very hard, and I intend to be running next week with a view to full contact the week after," he said.

"I was playing with a considerable amount of pain during the last six to eight weeks of the season, and that pain has now effectively gone, so I am quite pleased about that."

I thrive on the underdog tag, and we have got to use it to our advantage

Lawrence Dallaglio
Capped 77 times, Dallaglio was the only player to play every minute of Engand's triumphant campaign four years ago, when they arrived in Australia ranked number one in the world.

The current squad will head to France in September having lost 22 of their 37 Tests in the intervening period, and plunged to seventh in the world.

"We haven't won consistently for a while, and perhaps there isn't that expectation, but I feel the expectation within the squad is we can do well," Dallaglio said.

"There is that ability, possibly, to cause one or two surprises, and if we get things right in terms of the squad, the selection of the team and our tactics, I think we can do well.

"I thrive on the underdog tag, and we have got to use it to our advantage really.

"People are questioning whether England have got the ability to put those performances together consistently, but I would say we haven't really seen the real England out on the pitch on a consistent basis yet.

"If we get our best 30 players in the squad, then our best 15 on the pitch, we might see a different side to England. I think we have got a lot of quality."



SEE ALSO
Hodgson joins England Cup party
02 Jul 07 |  Rugby Union
England train with Royal Marines
25 Jun 07 |  English
Dallaglio makes training squad
15 Jun 07 |  English
Robinson to undergo knee surgery
07 Jun 07 |  Rugby Union
Woodward's blueprint for glory
31 Dec 03 |  England
Rugby union positions guide
05 Feb 07 |  Laws & Equipment


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