Rugby Union: Dooley pulls no punches

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The Independent Online
WHEN it comes to washing dirty linen in public, few have shown up quite so squeaky clean as Wade Dooley. Despite the danger of disciplinary action, the England lock has decided not to pull any punches in his autobiography, which was launched in London yesterday.

In The Tower and the Glory, the Blackpool bobby and holder of a record 50 caps for an England second row gives a blow-by-blow account of his career, although this was not guaranteed to win him friends in high places.

But at a time when Vinny Jones is on a Football Association charge for his part in a video entitled Soccer's Hard Men, Dooley is not to be taken to task. According to Dudley Wood, the secretary of the Rugby Football Union, 'Wade has done a couple of things that he and we regret and he has paid the price. They are history. Otherwise, he has had a wonderful career and is a friendly, quiet and gentle man'. Wood, though, like the rest, would prefer not to have his collar felt by Dooley.

Of a violent set-to in Cardiff in 1987, when the Welshman Phil Davies had his cheekbone fractured, Dooley - subsequently suspended for an international - writes: 'I saw a Welsh fist flash at John Hall . . .I lashed out at Hall's assailant and the punch landed with a sickening thud on Davies's face.'

There is more. Dooley also owns up to elbowing Scotland's Doddie Weir in the ear last season and to taking a swing at Sam Scott-Young in Queensland last year. Meanwhile, like Rory Underwood, Dooley wants to play on for England, even though both indicate in their memoirs that they had finished with internationals.