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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 January 2008, 20:42 GMT
Dallaglio ends his England career
Lawrence Dallaglio
Dallaglio has been an iconic figure for England
Former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio has announced his retirement from international rugby for the second time in his illustrious career.

He will also end his club career with Wasps at the end of the season.

The 35-year-old, who played every minute of England's successful 2003 World Cup campaign, previously stood down from Test rugby in 2004.

Dallaglio reversed his decision in 2006 and went on to play in the 2007 World Cup, winning his 85th cap in the final.

"I have enjoyed a marvellous run and been the proudest of Englishmen every time I wore my country's jersey," Dallaglio, who made his Test debut in 1995, told The Sun.

"However, I believe my international career has run its course and it is time for me to step aside and make room for the young guns kicking down the door."

606: DEBATE

Dallaglio scored 17 tries for his country and, together with Rory Underwood, is second behind Jason Leonard on England's list of cap winners.

But it is for his key role in England's famous World Cup win in 2003, where he was part of a superb back row unit alongside Neil Back and Richard Hill, that Dallaglio will be best remembered.

Nevertheless, Dallaglio's strong personality ensured he was never too far from the headlines over the course of his international career.

He was Sir Clive Woodward's first choice for the England captaincy when the coach took over in 1997, but he lost the role in 1999 after a notorious newspaper sting.

DALLAGLIO FACTFILE
Lawrence Dallaglio celebrates England's historic World Cup triumph in Australia
Born: 10 August 1972
International debut: England v South Africa, November 1995
England caps: 85
International tries: 17
International honours: World Cup 2003, World Cup runner-up 2007
Six Nations Championship 2000, 2001, 2003
Five Nations Championship 1996

Dallaglio regained the captain's armband in January 2004 after Martin Johnson's retirement, but his second spell ended when he announced his retirement from the international scene later that year.

The number eight regretted the decision and made himself available for selection again under Andy Robinson, scoring on his return against Wales.

But Robinson's decision to use Dallaglio off the bench in place of then captain Martin Corry proved controversial, and he faced allegations that he had talked his way back into the squad.

Dallaglio did not feature in the early part of Brian Ashton's reign, but the coach brought him back into the fold for the World Cup.

A poor performance in the opening match against the USA cost Dallaglio his starting place, but the veteran was used off the bench for the rest of the tournament and England's surprise run to the final.

But Dallaglio found himself at the centre of a media storm on his return to England with his criticism of Ashton and England's preparations, made in his autobiography, attracting publicity.

My decision has nothing to do with Brian Ashton and my post-World Cup observations concerning his preparation early in the tournament
Lawrence Dallaglio

Ashton insisted the incident would not count against Dallaglio when it came to selection for the forthcoming Six Nations, but the coach has been saved a potentially awkward decision.

Dallaglio insisted the controversy had not influenced his decision to step down.

"What I do want to emphasise is that my decision has nothing whatsoever to do with Brian Ashton and my post-World Cup observations concerning his preparation early in the tournament," he said.

"Brian is re-appointed and I wish him nothing but success."

England will name a 32-man squad on Wednesday, and Ashton is expected to be looking to bring in fresh blood.

Dallaglio will also end his domestic career at the end of the current season despite showing excellent form since returning from the World Cup.

"I'm probably playing my best rugby in two years but there will not be another new season for me at Wasps," he said.

"They are my only club and that's how it will remain when my boots hit the bin at the end of the season.

"Long-term I fancy coaching but it would have to be on the right terms and with the right set-up. Being honest, it's far too early for me to go beyond that."

SEE ALSO
Dallaglio's career in photos
02 Jan 08 |  Rugby Union
Dallaglio not ruled out - Ashton
23 Dec 07 |  Rugby Union
Dallaglio ends Test career
31 Aug 04 |  Internationals


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