Dallaglio hails formidable forwards

Captain Lawrence Dallaglio believes Wasps have built a pack of forwards capable of leading the club to another Heineken Cup triumph at Twickenham in eight months' time. [more]

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Captain Lawrence Dallaglio believes Wasps have built a pack of forwards capable of leading the club to another Heineken Cup triumph at Twickenham in eight months’ time.

Wasps have failed to qualify for the knockout stages of the Heineken Cup since being crowned champions in 2004 with a dramatic extra-time win over Toulouse at English rugby’s headquarters.

The draw has not helped – pitching them with the likes of Leicester, Biarritz and Toulouse – but Wasps have also not had the power up front to hurt the strongest sides.

Dallaglio believes all that has changed following the arrival of England prop Phil Vickery from Gloucester.

Wasps had missed experience and gravitas in their front row following the retirement of Craig Dowd, but 30-year-old Vickery has both qualities in spades.

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His signing was seen as something of a gamble for Wasps because he was recovering at the time from a third back operation.

But the medical advice was clear and both Wasps and Vickery were entirely confident he would be back playing again.

Vickery has started the last two games for Wasps and he is in line to make his European debut for the club against Castres on Sunday.

With the Heineken Cup final returning to Twickenham this season, there could hardly be a better time for Wasps to reclaim their European crown.

Dallaglio, 34, said: "Phil has made a big difference for us. We took a supposed gamble and he is already repaying that and let’s hope he can stay fit for everyone concerned.

"Everybody talks about the back row but you are only as good as guys play behind and the platform is outstanding.

"I am sure a certain Mr Ibanez enjoys playing alongside him and with Simon Shaw behind him that is a nice little unit.

"There are more than 150 caps between them, they are formidable and that is the sort of unit you need going into Europe.

"We are slowly building ourselves up."

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