Dallaglio backs Wasps wünderkid

Former England loose forward Lawrence Dallaglio believes Danny Cipriani should be given a regular run in the England team at fullback.

Some sectors of the English media and public were calling for Cipriani to replace Jonny Wilkinson after their Six Nations defeat to Wales. Those critics have now eased up on ‘Wilko’, and turned their attention to veteran fullback Ian Balshaw.

Dallaglio, speaking to the BBC, said the young Wasps flyhalf was a far better option at No. 15 than Balshaw, adding that at this stage of his career he would benefit from watching Wilkinson operate at pivot.

“He has a huge amount to offer – he has got that X-factor – and his form is a little bit better than Balshaw’s,” he said.

“The responsibility of playing 10 is a huge one. To throw someone like Danny in there and say run the show and expect him to be better than Jonny is a big ask. What Danny needs is an introduction to international rugby, to find the pace of the game and find his feet.

“Maybe that could be better served done at 15, where you get a chance to read and understand the game. It’s what we did [at Wasps]. We introduced him at 15, he played a season for us there and played in the Heineken Cup final at full-back.

“He went on to become the number 10. I think that would be a good way to introduce him into the England team.”

England are fourth in the Six Nations table, and will face Scotland at Murrayfield on 8 March.