Former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio has not given up hope of playing in this year’s World Cup despite having to battle for his place in the Wasps starting line-up.
Dallaglio is relishing the challenge presented by young contenders James Haskell and Tom Rees – both capped by England in this year’s Six Nations – as Wasps target the
Heineken Cup and Guinness Premiership double.
With England flanker Joe Worsely, Ireland’s Jonny O’Connor and Samoan Dan Leo also in the shake-up, the club captain is certainly not making any assumptions about his place in the starting line-up for Sunday’s Heineken Cup quarter-final against Northampton at Coventry City’s Ricoh Arena.
He was rested for last weekend’s league "rehearsal" against the Premiership strugglers, which Wasps won 35-29, and substituted in the second half of their previous two matches.
"Jonny O’Connor came back and put in a wonderful performance at the weekend. The quality is there, with both youth and experience," said 34-year-old Dallaglio, who insisted that he has no thoughts of quitting at the end of the season.
"Everyone’s an international and everyone’s a quality player. That gives us enormous flexibility.
"I’m looking forward to the game whatever role I’m asked to play."
Dallaglio had raised questions about his own future a few weeks ago but dismissed them on Tuesday, stating: "I must have got out of bed the wrong side that day.
"I’m certainly not going to be retiring at the end of this season.