Lawrence Dallaglio has described England rugby union players' unprecedented strike action as ''the most traumatic decision'' of his career.

Dallaglio and the England squad staged industrial action over performance-related pay following their 22-19 success against world champions Australia last month.

And although the dispute was resolved within 36 hours following talks between players' representatives and Rugby Football Union chief executive Francis Baron, it left a sour taste.

England boss Clive Woodward condemned his players' unanimous move but subsequent victories over Argentina and South Africa helped the healing process.

Dallaglio, Matt Dawson and current England captain Martin Johnson were elected to act on the squad's behalf during a dispute that commanded front and back-page headlines.

''For us to go on strike was the most traumatic decision of my career,'' said Dallaglio.

''But I hope England's fans will understand the action we all took because it was necessary for the squad members to get the financial rewards they deserve.

''The negotiations over this contract began in February of this year and in the end the players were backed into a corner.

''All I ever wanted to do, and still do, is play rugby for England, so in the end I am delighted that it was resolved quickly.

''I still see it as a great honour to put on the England shirt and nothing will change that.

''No-one ever realised it would go that far and we didn't take the action of going on strike without due care for the consequences or the potential disaster it would cause for the sport.

''This was not about the money demanded by Lawrence Dallaglio or Martin Johnson but the money required by the whole squad, and I hope everyone realises that,'' added Dallaglio.

''Many people have said that because of Clive Woodward's role in the negotiations, and his criticism of the players' action, that things can never be the same between myself and Clive again.

''I can categorically say that this is wrong. Clive has been enormously supportive of me, especially last summer and other players in their low moments.

''I owe Clive a great deal and so do many other players in the England squad."

Meanwhile, Dallaglio has told his Barbarians side to expect a ''demanding'' test of their world-class credentials when they face South Africa in Cardiff tomorrow.

A 70,000 crowd is expected at the Millennium Stadium, attracted by a Baa-baas XV which includes superstars like Dallaglio, Christian Cullen, Matt Burke and Agustin Pichot.

And England ace Dallaglio, who packs down for a second time in eight days against the Springboks, predicts a ''full-on'' fixture.

''South Africa play uncompromising rugby, and I don't think this is going to be any different at all.

''This isn't just going to be an exhibition game, it will be full-on rugby. You can't fool the public, and they won't be happy to have paid to see high-class rugby and leave knowing that all they've witnessed is the ball being thrown around."