Rugby Union: De Glanville backs Dallaglio for captaincy

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The Independent Online
Phil de Glanville was thrown the journalistic equivalent of a hospital pass yesterday and promptly found himself buried beneath a ton of unwelcome publicity. England's captain said he expected Lawrence Dallaglio, the Wasps flanker, to take over the reins for next month's home Test with Australia and confessed that he was unsure of securing a place in the starting line-up.

De Glanville, who led England in six of last season's seven internationals, was asked whether he would pick himself as captain if he were the new England coach, Clive Woodward. "I'm not really sure," he said. "At present I would pick Lawrence. He has the respect of all the players and leads from the front. It's very difficult to say but you have to be realistic. My money is on Lawrence."

Woodward has put the captaincy issue low on his list of priorities and De Glanville's comments suggested he had done likewise. The Bath centre said he did not consider himself to be at the helm, even though he led his country in their last Test, the comprehensive defeat by the Wallabies in Sydney three months ago, and stressed that selection was his primary goal.

The contest for outside-half and centre is likely to exercise Woodward's mind more than any other and De Glanville agreed there were a number of possible combinations, despite injury accounting for Jeremy Guscott, his club-mate and rival. "There are so many players pushing for places," he said. "I've never taken anything for granted and I'm not sure if I'll make the team."