Dallaglio not worried by autumn selection

Lawrence Dallaglio insists he will not be disappointed to miss out on England selection for the autumn internationals - because his sights are set on the World Cup. [more]

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Lawrence Dallaglio insists he will not be disappointed to miss out on England selection for the autumn internationals – because his sights are set on the World Cup.

The Wasps captain made his first Guinness Premiership start of the season on Sunday after having a five inch metal plate removed from his ankle during the summer.

Dallaglio had the plate inserted after breaking his ankle in the opening match of the 2005 Lions tour and played with it in all last season.

He did enough to make the England bench but struggled to rediscover the form which had earned him Lions selection in the first place.

Just two games into his comeback Dallaglio already feels the difference and he is determined to break into the England starting XV he last graced in 2004.

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But even though next year is a World Cup year and competition for places in the England back row is strong – James Forrester and Martin Corry are leading contenders for the number eight shirt – Dallaglio is content not to rush things.

"I am getting used to the pace of the game again. It was a lot higher this week against Newcastle than it was against London Irish in the EDF Energy Cup, which is great," said Dallaglio.

"I am really enjoying playing. I feel a massive difference to last season.

"I can train every day now which is a start and I am not in pain every time I take the field.

"It is a big positive and I am looking forward to building on this performance.

"But if I don’t make the England squad for autumn it won’t be the end of the world.

"This is a very long year and you don’t want to be playing your best rugby in November.

"And there are some very tough games for Wasps during that time which I’ll enjoy if I don’t make the England squad."

Wasps comprehensively beat the Falcons 35-15 and Dallaglio was quick to single out the returning full-back Mark Van Gisbergen for special praise.

Van Gisbergen broke into the England squad last season after qualifying on residency grounds, only to then suffer a dramatic loss of form.

He travelled but did not feature for England on their summer tour to Australia and then missed the first month of the campaign after breaking his jaw in a pre-season game.

Van Gisbergen was left standing as Newcastle centre Mat Tait scorched through for a brilliant try.

But otherwise he made a confident return in a Wasps side who were always on the front foot and Dallaglio insists the full-back deserves to be back in the England mix.

"Mark played very well against Newcastle, he didn’t make a single mistake. I don’t need to push his international claims – his performance did that," said Dallaglio.

"You are looking for someone who can cope with all the pressures that are required at the top level.

"I am really pleased for him. He has had an unlucky injury run and it is great to have him back in a shirt.

"It is also a good time for Wasps, with the Heineken Cup starting at the weekend."

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