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O’Driscoll Captain For the Year, Dallaglio For a Day.

O’Driscoll Captain For the Year, Dallaglio For a Day.

Whilst Brian O’Driscoll has been charged with leading his country for the duration of this year’s RBS Six Nations, Lawrence Dallaglio will take charge of England just for their opener.

Lawrence Dallaglio was named as the new
captain of
world champions England for their Royal Bank of Scotland Six Nations opener
away to
Italy on February 15th.
Wasps No.8 Dallaglio, 31 takes over as skipper from Martin Johnson
annouced his retirement from international rugby earlier this month
leading the team to World Cup final victory against Australia in
Sydney in

Dallaglio was England captain immediately before Johnson, leading
the team
in 14 matches before newspaper allegations of recreational drug use,
which he
always denied, forced him to resign from the post in 1999.

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In a statement, England coach Clive Woodward said: “I was
in the
fortunate position of having a lot of outstanding players to consider
for the
captaincy role, to follow in the footsteps of Martin Johnson who was
going to be such a hard act for any player to follow, both on the
pitch and in
his leadership qualities.

“Many players have proven to me they could do the job but in
my opinion
Lawrence is the stand out choice for Italy. I’m really pleased for
him and I
am confident he will be excellent in the role.”

But Woodward stressed that his decision to appoint Dallaglio to
captaincy did not mean the 65-times capped forward was in permanent
of the job.

“As always I will be appointing the captain on a game by game
basis, a
philosophy I’ve maintained since I’ve been in charge,” Woodward

Meanwhile a delighted Dallaglio, whose father is Italian, said:
“I’m very
pleased to accept this responsibility. It’s a huge honour and privilege and Martin has certainly
set a high
standard. He is a world class player and is a great loss to England
but I
respect his decision to retire,” the British and Irish Lions
star added.

“All teams move on and evolve and England is no exception.
The priority is
to get selected on form, that’s paramount. I see playing well as the
key to
success and captaining your country is very special indeed.

“I want to continue to work closely with Clive and the
coaches and take
England to the next level. But we are under no illusions. As world
it will be a huge challenge to achieve that goal but it’s one I know
we all

Meanwhile, veteran lock Fabien Pelous, who
is to
succeed Fabien Galthie as captain of France, was back in training
for his club Toulouse over three weeks after twisting a knee.

“It went well even if I’m a little short of breath,”
said Pelous after the
two-hour session.
His chances of recovering full fitness in time to turn out for
against Ireland in the Six Nations Championship on February 14th look
to have
improved after his trouble-free return to training.

He said: “I want to wait two days to see how it goes, but I’d
say I’m 50-50
to play in the match (for his club Toulouse) on Saturday.”

The 30-year-old, capped 86 times, has already said he wants to
carry on to
the 2007 World Cup.

Pelous captained France 15 times between 1997 and 2002 and took
over from
Galthie when the scrum-half was injured for the last three matches of
the 2003
Six Nations.

Pelous picked up his injury minutes after coming on as a second
substitute against Biarritz on January 3.
His return to the pitch will be welcome news to France head coach
as he deals with a second row injury crisis for the Ireland
involving Olivier Brouzet, recovering from a collarbone operation,
carrying a calf strain, and Jerome Thion, suffering from an
tendon injury.

Pelous’ club teammate, France centre Yannick Jauzion, also resumed
Wednesday after a calf injury.
The three-try scorer for france against Fiji at the World Cup last
year who
was forced to sit out last weekend’s game against Leeds in the
European Cup
said: “I didn’t feel any adverse reaction. I’m ready for