Dallaglio's return delayed again

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Lawrence Dallaglio's Wasps comeback has been delayed after the former England captain suffered a setback in his recovery from a serious knee injury.

Dallaglio, who has not played since last summer's Lions tour after undergoing surgery, had hoped to make his return for Wasps in their Zurich Premiership clash with Newcastle on Sunday.

Wasps director of rugby Nigel Melville already had Dallaglio down for a place on the bench but the forward sustained a further blow to the knee during a training session this week. But this is a new and largely superficial injury and not a case of the old damage flaring up.

Melville said yesterday: "Don't worry, it's not the same knee injury. This is more like bruising and there is no point in taking any chance with Lawrence when he has worked so hard to get back from the operation. When he takes the field we don't want any weaknesses. There's no point starting your first game – even from the replacements' bench – if you are carrying an injury."

Dallaglio first damaged his knee during a club match against Bath last May. He was declared fit for the Lions' trip to Australia but his ligaments gave way, cutting short his tour.

The latest setback is a blow to the 29-year-old's hopes of returning to the England fold in time for their Six Nations clash with France in Paris on 2 March.

* The appeal by the Castres forward Ismaelia Lassissi against his one-year ban for biting Munster's Peter Clohessy will be heard in Dublin today. Lassissi was found guilty last Thursday of the attack on Clohessy, which occurred during the Heineken Cup game between the sides on 12 January.