Dallaglio to consider future

Lawrence Dallaglio admits his diminishing form for Wasps and the failure to reclaim his England place will force him to reassess his future at the end of the season. [more]

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Lawrence Dallaglio admits his diminishing form for Wasps and the failure to reclaim his England place will force him to reassess his future at the end of the season.

Dallaglio began the campaign trumpeting his determination to force his way back into the world champions’ line-up after winning the last of his 77 caps in the 2006 RBS 6 Nations.

But the once-unthinkable prospect of the 34-year-old being dropped by Wasps could become reality on Thursday when the side is named for the weekend’s crucial Heineken Cup quarter-final against Leinster.

James Haskell, Joe Worsley and Tom Rees started England’s final Six Nations match against Wales and Wasps could opt for the same trio to face the Celtic League champions.

And, while Dallaglio has not given up hope of reviving his international career, he is ready to consider his options with one more year to run on his Wasps contract.

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"It doesn’t look like it’s happening for me with England. One never says no but there’s obviously a desire to pick other players and move forward in a different direction," he said.

"I said that if England win their home games in the 6 Nations then they will have had a good season compared to where they were before, which was pretty much near the bottom.

"They have won their home games so I still regard their season as a reasonable success. The door is never shut but you must put in consistent performances.

"Unfortunately from my point of view the size of Wasps’ squad has been a challenge for the club this season. Everyone wants a game and wants to play.

"I want to win silverware with Wasps and I’ll take a view at the end of the season. I’m committed to playing next season, but at the moment I just want to enjoy the rest of the season.

"It’s been frustrating on a lot of fronts but absolutely I will end my playing career at Wasps."

The Heineken Cup quarter-finals contain some mouth-watering ties, with Wasps’ clash against Leinster among the best, but a cloud still hangs over the tournament.

French clubs have threatened to boycott the competition unless they are given a greater say in the way it is run, effectively destroying its credibility given their dominance in recent years.

Dallaglio admits a French withdrawal would be a serious blow but also insists England must consider the value of the Heineken Cup to their international ambitions.

The veteran number eight believes too many England stars are not being exposed to the pinnacle of club competition and called for radical changes to be implemented.

"It would be very sad if the French pull out but one doesn’t know whether that’s a genuine threat or whether it’s a bit of posturing," he said.

"England need to look very, very seriously at how the competition helps their players.

"I’m at Wasps because I love the club and want to win trophies but if Wasps didn’t qualify for the Heineken Cup I wouldn’t be here.

"If you look at Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Italy then all of their top players compete in the Heineken Cup. The Heineken Cup genuinely benefits them internationally.

"Jonny Wilkinson has played just once in the Heineken Cup during his career. There are a number of other players in England who either never will or never have played in this competition.

"It’s something we need to address if we’re to move forward internationally because it clearly doesn’t allow England players to feature at the highest level.

"Everyone talks about the Heineken Cup being great and it’s great for Ireland, Scotland, Italy and Wales. It’s also great for France because most of their players are concentrated over four clubs.

"(Changes that benefit England) are not something the French or Irish are going to vote for. England have to sort it out internally first because no one will vote for England to get stronger.

"It’s not a huge number of players that are affected but it’s enough to affect English rugby year on year."

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