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Lawrence Dallaglio tells Keith Wood why Ireland will beat England to the Six Nations title


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When the Six Nations comes to an end this year, the expectation is that the final encounter in Twickenham between Ireland and England will decide the destiny of the tournament.

Much could well happen in between now and then but this week we got two former totemic captains from both nations together in one room as Keith Wood sat down to interview Lawrence Dallaglio here in Dublin.  

Towards the end of their chat, both of them discussed their predictions for the tournament.  

"It's going to be the closest Six Nations we've had for quite some time. I don't think England will win it," Dallaglio told Keith.

"I really don't think England will win it. I think Ireland will win it. I'm not saying that because I'm sat next to you or I'm in Dublin.

"I'm saying that because it's such a hard tournament to win and England won it twice in a row. Ireland won it twice in a row before them and Wales won it before them.

Lawrence Dallaglio and Keith Wood share a joke on the 2001 Lions Tour ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

"No team has won three Six Nations tournaments. We've talked about the injuries that England have. Yes, of course they have a strength in depth. They have a big pool of players but they really do have big injuries to some key players so I think it will be close."

Dallaglio also discussed the increasingly difficult nature of the tournament, especially when it comes to the challenge of going away.

"If you take Italy's results away from the tournament - and I don't wish to do that but sometimes you have to just because they still have a wee bit to catch up, although Conor O'Shea will bridge that gap - there was only one away win in the whole tournament last year. That was by England in Wales. A try in the last minute of the game," he said.

"So winning away from home is at a premium. England won the tournament last year by losing to Ireland. My prediction this year is that Ireland will win the tournament and they may even lose to England."

He also discussed the time when the possibility arose that he could line out for Ireland, given that his mother is Irish (his father is Italian).

"Many times actually," he said when Keith asked if the thought of playing for Ireland had ever occurred to him.

"I was born in England, my Mum was raised in Ireland but moved to England. My father was born in Italy, raised in Italy but moved to England so I guess the first thing I was thinking of was England.

"But the first team to approach me was Italy ironically. I played for England against Italy in a junior match.

"The next phonecall thankfully came from Ireland. I was finding it hard to really break into the England team. It was a bit of a closed shop and Noel Murphy, the ex-chairman of Ireland, threw the charm down and tried to persuade me to wear the green shirt of Ireland."  

He added that he did think about it "very, very seriously".

You can watch the full video above or on YouTube


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