Very few rugby players reach superstar status and those who do, fall into a very small category. Lawrence Dallaglio is one of those superstars.
Born in Shepherd's Bush, London, Dallaglio has won virtually every accolade available in the game. He captained England before handing over to Martin Johnson and has been capped in all three positions in the backrow.
He was an automatic choice for the 1999 World Cup and the '97 Lions against the Springboks and he has never played in another set of club colours, arriving at Sudbury (Wasps first home) as a teenager.
Dallaglio was a member of England's Sevens team winning the inaugural World Cup in 1993, then a surprise choice for the '94 England tour to South Africa, a shrewd selection by Jack Rowell. Yet the following winter he could not guarantee a place in Wasps backrow.
One season on and he became club captain when Rob Andrew left for Newcastle in October 1995, taking four experienced players with him. He held the club together during that troubled winter and 12 months later established his full credentials by leading Wasps to the first professional English league title.
Named Daily Telegraph readers' Player of the Year and Lloyds TSB Six Nations Player of the Year, Dallaglio had a fantastic season in 1999/2000 when he was handed back the club captaincy. Although the side's league form was disappointing, Lawrence led Wasps on an impressive Heineken Cup run and to a second-successive Tetley Bitter Cup victory.
Another impeccable season in 2000/2001 closed with selection for his second Lions Tour but an injury in the last game of the season against Bath, meant he was doubtful for the trip to Australia. The Lions passed him fit but the knee gave way again in a mid-week match, cutting short his tour and forcing the Wasps captain to undergo reconstructive surgery.
Dallaglio started the 2002/03 season fully fit and injury free and led London Wasps to the Parker Pen Challenge Cup and Zurich Premiership trophies. He was also a member of the 2003 England Grand Slam-winning team. However, greater things were to come in the year as Dallaglio and Co set out for the World Cup. LBND (Lawrence Bruno Nero Dallaglio), as he is called, astonishingly played in every England game during the World Cup and was not replaced once. A truly remarkable feat, climaxing with a World Cup winners' medal.
Following Martin Johnson's retirement at the close of the World Cup, Dallaglio once again took up the England captaincy, but after a further eight games as captain announced his retirement from international rugby.
The last five seasons have seen the Wasps' talisman lift seven trophies as he helmed his one and only team to the most successful period in their history. These trophies were: three consecutive Premiership titles, the Heineken Cup in 2004 and again this season in 2007, the Parker Pen European Shield and the Anglo Welsh Powergen Cup.
After having celebrated his testimonial year with Wasps in 200/05, the summer of 2005 saw Dallaglio embark on his third Lions tour. In the shape of his life, the No8 looked set to banish the disappointment of his last outing in a Lions' shirt that ended in injury.
In a cruel twist of fate however, the Wasps man slipped in the opening game of the tour and sustained a dislocated fracture of his leg and ankle, taking no further part in the series.
Dallaglio is a swift healer however, and he was back in club colours by October, and proceeded to grab all the headlines by making himself once again available for his national team as the Six Nations approached. Consequently, the 2006 Six Nations saw Lawrence Dallaglio add a further 5 caps to his name before rounding off the season with by lifting the Powergen Cup for Wasps.
True to form Dallaglio rounded off the 2006/07 season in style leading Wasps to an empathic victory in the Heineken Cup final and silenced his critics with a return to the international stage, cementing his place in Brian Ashton's 2007 World Cup squad, where he played an influential role all the way to the final both on and off pitch. 2007/08 has again proved to be a big season for Wasps talismanic captain - announcing his retirement from international rugby with immediate effect and from club rugby at the end of the season, it is without doubt that he will looking to take Wasps out on a high.
Lawrence has three children, is an avid Chelsea Football supporter and says Alan Shearer is one of his sporting heroes.
Dallaglio is the 'jewel' in the Wasps' crown.
Click the squad picture and the action pictures on the left to zoom them.
|Weight:||112kgs / 17st 9lbs|
|Height:||191cm / 6ft 3ins|
|Date of Birth:||10/08/1972|
|Place of Birth:||Shepherd's Bush|
|Representative Honours:||, British and Irish Lions, England A, England 7s, World XV, England U21, England U19, Barbarians|
|Debut Match:||Harlequins 18/09/1993|
|Joined Club:||August 1990|
|Lawrence 's Club Stats:||This Season||Club Total|
|Lawrence 's Test Stats:||Win Rate||Total|
|Country||Won: 60 Drawn: 2 Lost: 23||England|
|Drop Goals||-||International Points||85|