World Cup Diary – England’s back row dilemma

In 2003, Sir Clive Woodward and everybody else knew exactly which players would form the first choice back row at the World Cup.  This time around, it is still open for debate.

Tom Rees is the man in form at openside, and would be the first name on the team sheet for me.  He has pace and power and is a competitive scavenger – just what we need.

Joe Worsley is my pick for number 6.  He has size and experience, and will be a monster in defence.  James Haskell is still too inexperienced for me, and whilst Lewis Moody is a contender here, Worsley has the edge in quality.

At number eight, I’d start with Lawrence Dallaglio.  The old-timer will bring determination, power and leadership to the pack as well as a belief that England can beat any side in the world.  Dan Ward-Smith, if he recovers in time, is still untested at international level, but if he performs in the warm up matches, I would consider bringing him on for Dallaglio after 60 minutes when he could terrorise the opposition with his speed.

So, Worsley, Rees and Dallaglio – given the time this could be a phenomenal unit, but is 2 months enough? 

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