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Dallaglio backs seeding changes

Lawrence Dallaglio has backed plans from schedulers to avoid any repeat of England's pool of death at future Rugby World Cups.

World Cup-winner Dallaglio threw his weight behind World Rugby's aims to delay seeding for the 2019 tournament in Japan for as long as possible.

Hosts England face one of the toughest World Cup groups ever at next month's tournament, after their pairing with Wales, Australia, Fiji and Uruguay was decided back in December 2012.

Wales' poor form at the time threw three world powers into Pool A, with Dallaglio claiming the line-up "changes the dynamic" of the entire competition for those teams.

"That's common sense and a good idea from World Rugby to look at changes," Dallaglio told Press Association Sport.

"It seems a bit odd that we have a draw and a system that takes results four years ago into account.

"Often the third and fourth play-off has been all about seeding for four years' time, whereas we all know the landscape of Test teams and their results can change in the space of 12 months let alone four years.

"So I think that quite rightly makes sense.

"Also what we have to appreciate is that a lot of teams around the world are improving, so groups will naturally become tougher as the game improves.

"It's not just about traditional rugby powerhouses anymore."

England will launch the 2015 World Cup by taking on Fiji at Twickenham on Friday, September 18, with 2003 winner Dallaglio warning Stuart Lancaster's men to hit top form right from the off.

"It's a tough group for everyone: no one's particularly happy with the group, trust me," said former England number eight Dallaglio.

"If you're Australian and Welsh it's probably a tougher group for them in some respects, because they have to face the hosts at home.

"It changes the dynamic of the World Cup for those teams, because the theory is you want to try to arrive at the tournament in good shape and get better and better as things progress.

"In that group there's no gimme games, so they've got to go at it as a knock-out right from the start.

"That can be a good thing as well, because when they get to the knock-out stages they will be battle-hardened and genuinely ready.

"Whoever gets through the group, that will give those teams huge belief they can go and win it."


From Belfast Telegraph