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Dallaglio laments lack of rugby at London Olympics

Former England captain and World Cup winner Lawrence Dallaglio said Monday he was disappointed that rugby would play no part in the 2012 London Olympics.

other Updated: Oct 11, 2010 20:43 IST

Former England captain and World Cup winner Lawrence Dallaglio said Monday he was disappointed that rugby would play no part in the 2012 London Olympics.

Rugby sevens is set to make its debut instead in Rio de Janerio in 2016.

"It's a very good move (to introduce it), but I'm slightly disappointed it couldn't be introduced in London because it would have been played at Twickenham, the home of rugby, which would have been fantastic.

"I'm sure on the sand of Rio it'll be just as awesome though," he joked on the sidelines of the Delhi Commonwealth Games where many of the younger players are eyeing glory on the big stage in Brazil.

"I'm sure it's in some of the younger guys' heads but not so much for the older players," Canadian team captain Phil Mack said Monday as the rugby kicked off in the Indian capital.

"I'll be close to 29 come the Olympics. It would be nice to play in an Olympic Games but for now I'm just enjoying playing."

For some though, the opportunity will come too late. "I'm gutted," said 29-year-old Tongan John Cocker "Because I've been playing for four years and now the Olympics have come up and my time is almost up."But it's good for everyone else I guess."

Dallaglio tipped New Zealand to win a record-breaking fourth successive gold medal at the Delhi Games. "They are looking a bit warm as usual. They've drafted in a few All Blacks which is a bit cheeky," he told AFP.

The Kiwis scored 141 points as they crushed a disappointing Canadian side 43-7 despite two yellow cards for the champions who followed up with a 52-0 stroll against Guyana and a 46-0 victory against Scotland.

Rugby sevens was introduced in the Commonwealth Games in 1998 in Kuala Lumpur, with top-ranked rugby powers Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the South Pacific specialists and the British nations all represented.

This year's event in Delhi only lacks Fiji due to the country's suspension from the Commonwealth following a military coup in 2006.