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Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Back row a 'battle within war' for England and New Zealand - Dallaglio

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Back row a 'battle within war' for England and New Zealand - Dallaglio
Back row a 'battle within war' for England and New Zealand - Dallaglio

Dallaglio says back row battle is key in semi-final between England and New Zealand

SHOWS: TOKYO, JAPAN (OCTOBER 22, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.

FORMER ENGLAND NUMBER EIGHT LAWRENCE DALLAGLIO PREPARING FOR INTERVIEW 2.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER ENGLAND NUMBER EIGHT, LAWRENCE DALLAGLIO, SAYING: "I have been impressed with both back rows actually.

Let's not forget (New Zealand captain) Kieran Read who is pretty tidy himself, quite handy and done a few things in rugby.

(England number eight) Billy Vunipola is quite a special player.

So it is a wonderful battle actually within the war, if you like.

Everyone focusses sometimes on the back row but the whole pack is a unit and if the front five, the tight five, go well then it allows the back row to play in a very different way.

It is fascinating because you have two out-and-out sevens playing for New Zealand on either side of the flank and you have two out-and-out sevens for England.

It seems to be the way the game is moving and developing.

They probably had to do a bit of reading up about each other, the two sets of forwards, because in New Zealand you don't necessarily hear a lot about what happens in the UK and vice-versa.

They would have only played against each other once I think.

It is a really intriguing battle within the match itself and one that - obviously I am slightly biased - I am quite looking forward to and hard to pick a winner." 3.

VARIOUS OF DALLAGLIO BEING INTERVIEWED 4.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER ENGLAND NUMBER EIGHT, LAWRENCE DALLAGLIO, SAYING: "Well they (England) have kind of done what they had to do and they have found themselves in a World Cup semi-final.

That in itself speaks volumes.

Like Eddie (Jones) and probably like a lot of England fans I think hopefully the best is yet to come.

There is a lot more left in this England side.

They have had a relatively, I wouldn't say simple route through the pool stages, but it wasn't the most challenging of encounters." 5.

DALLAGLIO BEING INTERVIEWED 6.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER ENGLAND NUMBER EIGHT, LAWRENCE DALLAGLIO, SAYING: "They stepped up in the quarter-final and I think there was a big question mark around whether they were battled-hardened if you like and if they had enough game time etc.

Etc.

But they certainly answered that fairly emphatically.

That was a good Australian side, whichever way you carve it up.

At times they played exceptionally well.

They will take a lot of confidence from that.

They are certainly on-plan, if you know what I mean, and they obviously now have to go up another level as well against the best side in the world, who certainly have been for some time." 7.

DALLAGLIO BEING INTERVIEWED 8.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER ENGLAND NUMBER EIGHT, LAWRENCE DALLAGLIO, SAYING: "The good news for England is that they have a few experienced heads themselves.

This is Eddie Jones' fourth World Cup as a coach or head coach.

He has had some success, he has been in World Cup finals, lost one with Australia, won one with South Africa, caused one of the greatest sporting upsets we have ever seen with Japan.

This is his moment as a coach and he knows he has a team that are capable of going all the way to the final and winning it.

When you are the coach of a team with that potential it is very exciting." 9.

DALLAGLIO BEING INTERVIEWED STORY: For a man who made his name winning many a bruising back row battle, it's no surprise that former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio thinks that's where Saturday's Rugby World Cup semi-final match against New Zealand could be decided.

Dallaglio, who won the 2003 World Cup with England playing at number eight, believes New Zealand represents the biggest challenge yet for Eddie Jones' side but that recent improvements in the back row could prove decisive.

England flankers Tom Curry and Sam Underhill have impressed so far in the tournament, with the former winning man of the match in the quarter-final victory over Australia.

However, they, along with England number eight Billy Vunipola, will have their work cut out against a vastly experienced New Zealand back row that includes captain Kieran Read and flanker Ardie Savea, a candidate for player of the tournament.

"I have been impressed with both back rows," Dallaglio told Reuters on Tuesday (October 22) England have won all four of their matches so far at this World Cup, but as the pool stage match against France was cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis and Argentina were reduced to 14 men early in their encounter, the team had a lot to prove heading into the quarter-final.

Dallaglio thinks England answered any questions "emphatically" with a 40-16 win over Australia, but more will be needed against reigning world champions New Zealand.

(Production: Jack Tarrant)

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