Dallaglio: Thompson is key for England

LEGEND Lawrence&nbsp; Dallaglio believes veteran hooker Steve Thompson could prove crucial in giving England the edge against the Wallabies tomorrow.<br /><br />The 31-year-old lines up for his first international start in three years at Twickenham having &lsquo;retired&rsquo; from the game in 2007 with a serious neck injury.<br /><br />Reborn at French club Brive, Thompson got the nod over Dylan Hartley for the No2 shirt by team boss Martin Johnson, and Dallaglio believes his experience will prove valuable to an otherwise youthful England front row.<br /><br />&ldquo;He&rsquo;s one of the few players in the side that has beaten Australia,&rdquo; Dallaglio said. &ldquo;Not just once, but on a regular basis and he&rsquo;ll bring great leadership quality as well.<br /><br />&ldquo;The best thing is that he knows what it takes to get to the top of the world. Through no fault of their own, there&rsquo;s not a lot of players in that England squad who know or have ever breathed the rarefied air of being the best team in the world.&rdquo;<br /><br />Dallaglio also believes another of his former team-mates will play a key role tomorrow. Fly-half Jonny Wilkinson wins his first cap in 18 months and, contrary to reports, Dallaglio insists England&rsquo;s record points scorer won&rsquo;t be holding back amid fears of suffering another injury. &ldquo;Jonny will go at it the same way as he always does,&rdquo; he added.&nbsp; &ldquo;He probably doesn&rsquo;t hit as many rucks as he used to and is probably a little more sensitive about the options that he takes but even so, he&rsquo;s still the same player and will throw himself into tackles and that&rsquo;s great.&rdquo;<br /><br />Australia will field an all-new centre pairing of Quade Cooper and Digby Ioane for the Cook Cup encounter in the absence of Berrick Barnes and Stirling Mortlock.