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Dallaglio wants new-look England

Courtney Lawes
Young forward Courtney Lawes tries to make headway against Australia

Former captain Lawrence Dallaglio has urged England to make changes and introduce some emerging talent for next Saturday's Test with Argentina.

"I think we need to start blooding some players," Dallaglio told BBC Sport after the 18-9 defeat by Australia.

"I would start with James Haskell at number eight, Courtney Lawes in the second row and I would also put Dylan Hartley in at hooker.

"These guys, to me, look absolutely ripe for international rugby."

Dallaglio, who was capped 85 times by his country and was part of the 2003 World Cup-winning side, felt England were sluggish and lacked a cutting edge at Twickenham on Saturday.

While he welcomed the return of Jonny Wilkinson and other experienced players, he believes England require fresh impetus.

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"There were a few positives," he added. "The performances of Lewis Moody and Jonny Wilkinson were what you would expect from those quality players, and Steve Thompson as well.

"But England need to up the whole pace of their game. When Haskell and Lawes came on, there seemed to be a bit more dynamism. Up until then it all seemed very turgid with no pace.

"They were throwing the ball from side to side but always miles behind the gain line. You can't play international rugby behind the gain line, and we didn't seem to pose any problems to the Australian defence.

"We have got to get quicker ball, hit the breakdown with a bit of purpose and move the opposition off the ball. We also need to stand a bit flatter on the gain line and ask some questions of their defence."

Haskell, 24, won his 20th cap when replacing Jordan Crane at number eight in the 53rd minute against Australia, but has struggled to cement a regular place since making his debut against Wales two years ago.

Lawes, 20, made his Test debut as a replacement for Louis Deacon for the last 12 minutes of Saturday's defeat.

Hartley came on as a replacement in each of manager Martin Johnson's first nine Tests in charge last season, before starting his first Tests against Argentina in the summer.

But a hamstring injury prior to the Australia game hampered his prospects and he had to settle for a place on the bench with former Northampton team-mate Thompson returning to the side.

Johnson is expected to name his side on Tuesday to face the Pumas.



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see also
We will learn from loss - Johnson
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England 9-18 Australia
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Vickery undergoes neck operation
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Australia pick new centre pairing
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England pick Wilkinson & Thompson
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Jeremy Guscott column
04 Nov 09 |  English


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