By Brendan Gallagher for The Telegraph on 04 June 2008.
Lawrence Dallaglio volunteers for duty at Twickenham again to aid Help for Heroes.
Lawrence Dallaglio has absolutely no intention of doing a Frank Sinatra on us but the former England captain and World Cup winner looks set to lace his boots one more time at Twickenham.
Dallaglio, less than 72 hours retired, was back at Twickenham yesterday lending his support for a special charity game at HQ on Sept 20 in aid of the injured and maimed British Servicemen who are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan in disturbing numbers.
Initially pencilled in as nonplaying captain and recruitment officer for the Help the Heroes XV, Dallaglio was on top table when his opposition non-playing captain Scott Gibbs, a firm friend from Lions days and looking fit after recently training for a marathon, Heroes: Scott Gibbs with Trooper Adam Cocks, who was injured in Afghanistan and Lawrence Dallaglio suddenly declared his intention of playing as well.
The gauntlet having been thrown down, Dallaglio immediately offered his playing services to Phil de Glanville who will manage the Heroes XV.
“Scotty Gibbs always plays to win so if Phil de Glanville needs me on the field as well I’m available,” said Dallaglio. “I will also be on the phone later to see if Mr Hill and Mr Back are free and fancy a final run out together.
“This is going to be a great day in which rugby people can honour all our unsung British heroes in the Services from all the theatres of war, some of whom pay a terrible price for their country. This is rugby’s opportunity to show we care. There is always a great affinity between the services and rugby.”
The organisers, fully backed by the RFU who have offered Twickenham free of charge with all their back-room staff all working for free, have set themselves the task of filling the stadium and raising well over £1?million to help fund a new swimming pool at the Hedley Court Rehabilitation Centre.
On the rugby front, two XVs will be carefully selected with a mix of outstanding Services players, top youngsters from club Academies, Guinness Premiership and Magners League stars and a sprinkling of some of the biggest names in the game.
The Heroes XV will be English, the International Select XV, precisely what it says on the tin.
Investec and Lord Ashcroft have already pledged their support, and the latter will also organise an exhibition at Twickenham of the 50 Victoria Crosses in his possession, the world’s largest collection. There will also be a rugby village in the West Car Park, coaching clinics from top players and displays by all three Services.
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