Dallaglio confident in task-group findings
September 29, 2009
Lawrence Dallaglio believes that the RFU's 'Image of the Game' task-group can help restore faith in rugby © Getty Images
Lawrence Dallaglio is sure that the announcement of 10 recommendations from the RFU's 'Image of the Game' task group will help to restore faith in rugby's damaged reputation.
Dallaglio joined the 13-man group in the wake of the 'Bloodgate' scandal and the drugs problems at Bath, with the past month spent conducting a wide-spread review of problems within the game.
"We had a meeting to put the final touches to something we can all learn from and be proud of," said Dallaglio, who was invited to join the group by RFU chief executive Francis Baron. "We want to create a situation where other sports look up to rugby and I am proud of what we have achieved here.
"What you will find is there will be recommendations that will benefit the game as a whole that have been born out of this exercise. In many ways it has been a very important process to have gone through. There has been an element of complacency and there have been two big stories over the summer but this report is about learning the lessons from that and taking it forward."
The recommendations will be presented on Wednesday at Twickenham by RFU president John Owen. In the wake of Dean Richards' three-year coaching ban for ordering Harlequins wing Tom Williams to fake a blood injury during last season's Heineken Cup semi-final loss to Leinster, the task force issued anonymous questionnaires to players and officials in order to understand the extent of unsavoury practices in the sport.
Players were offered immunity from disciplinary action in return for information, with certain players, including former England skipper Martin Corry, doubting the effectiveness of such a plan. Dallaglio maintains that the response has been above and beyond expectations.
"The response has been phenomenal in a very short space of time," he said. "The report was about opening it up to any player, any coach, any medical officer, any sponsor to really have their views on the game expressed.
"I would argue that 99.9% of rugby is in great shape. I take my son to mini-rugby and up and down the country the sport is still one people admire enormously. From what I have seen at a professional level, mini-rugby and the community game, rugby continues to be a game that everyone is very proud of."
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham