English need to be allowed to show the same passion as the Welsh says Lawrence Dallaglio
Former English rugby captain Lawrence Dallaglio has said that the English need to be allowed to show the same passion in their national identity as the people of Wales.
But he said that when he got “wound up” and challenged Wales on the rugby pitch with the same patriotism that they were showing, it was “viewed differently” coming from an Englishman.
Speaking on GB News, Lawrence Dallaglio said that despite being half Irish and half Italian he had embraced his Englishness and called for others to do the same.
“English people – perhaps not these days but definitely when I was growing up – tended to be very conservative,” he said.
“They don’t like to have these outward displays of emotion, maybe in the same way as some of the other countrymen.
“I see the passion that Scottish people have about being Scottish, Irish people have about being Irish, and certainly Welsh people have about being Welsh. So why not England? Why are we not allowed to feel passionate and patriotic about our country?
“Now that doesn’t mean that we over celebrate or that we celebrate in a way that offends anyone. But I don’t want anyone pointing the finger at English people when they want to display their patriotism.”
Lawrence Dallaglio however said that any modern English identity needed to be inclusive of anyone who wanted to be part of it, whatever their background.
“You will have noticed that when I sang the national anthem, God Save the Queen, I sung it with an enormous amount of pride because it meant a lot to me. And I wasn’t afraid to wear my heart on my sleeve and have that emotion.
“But equally, I think we have to acknowledge that we’re in an ever-changing world. And you need to celebrate difference as well. There is nothing wrong with being English, but being different. And I think never has that been more apparent than in the modern world.
“But listen I’m as patriotic as ever. I used to get a bit wound up when we were playing Scotland and Wales. They were getting passionate and it would be patriotism, but as soon as you came back with something as an Englishman then it’s viewed in a slightly different way.
Lawrence Dallaglio previously called in 2010 for St. George’s Day to be celebrated with more gousto in England.
“So many other Bank Holidays and national days are marked in this country and not necessarily the one we should be celebrating,” he said..
“St George’s Day has been associated with jingoism and politics, which it should not be. That doesn’t happen in any of the Celtic countries. I have never had a problem celebrating my Englishness, on and off the pitch.”