Our Patch October 2015 - Page 8

Our Patch OCTOBER 2015 Our Patch OCTOBER 2015 Cover story Left, Dallaglio trains with youngsters. Right, Henry Slade is one to watch, as is Sam Burgess, inset below PICTURES: ACTION IMAGES >CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7 he said, “So I’d be happy for either of those sides to do well. For Italy, getting to the knockout stages would be an achievement in itself… but Ireland have a great chance.” And an outside tip? “I think France could cause some upsets. We have seen recently in the QBE internationals that France are capable of beating teams like England with players such as Huget and Michalak having the ability to change any game.” So who are the ones to watch in the England squad? “Firstly, Sam Burgess,” said Lawrence. “Many people are quoting him as a ‘risk’ for England due to his lack of union experience, but his character on and off the field will certainly bring something extra. “Secondly, Henry Slade is one to watch as he was impressive in the first French test and offers a different dimension in the centre, and in It’s tough being a young person today, and young people can lose their way addition can provide cover for multiple positions.” Six years after his own World Cup victory down under, Lawrence, now 43, set up his foundation, generating £10million for good causes, particularly youth development, with events such as long-distance sponsored cycle ‘slams’. Strong links with rugby’s governing 8/9 body mean the charity is seen as key to helping disadvantaged teenagers steer clear of crime and achieve their potential via sport. With three lively teenagers of his own (the family live near the Thames in Petersham, by Richmond Park), he has a real insight into issues facing young people. A lifelong Chelsea fan, the 6ft 4in trencherman (who tweets as Dallaglio8 to celebrate his England shirt number) says the influence of his family was crucial at stages in his own career when he was 'heading down the wrong track'. “It’s tough being a young person today, and young people can lose their way,” he said. “We operate in 26 pupil referral units where our coaches use rugby as an anchor to help young people turn their lives around. “It is extremely satisfying for me as I have seen first-hand the changes we are making to these young people’s lives. It isn’t just talk – it is fact, and we see this every day.” The project operates from offices donated by the RAPP marketing agency in W6. “The location is perfect for us as a charity,” said Lawrence. “We work in many west London boroughs