Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Cipriani hoping to cement Sale place

Danny Cipriani wants to secure a regular starting place at Sale
Danny Cipriani wants to secure a regular starting place at Sale

Danny Cipriani was delighted with his crucial cameo role in Sale's thrilling opening 34-33 Heineken Cup win over Cardiff, and now the England fly-half is hoping he has done enough to start his next match.

The Sharks were staring at a seventh consecutive defeat when they trailed 27-12 to the Blues at the City of Salford Stadium, but the introduction of Cipriani after 49 minutes sparked a dramatic transformation.

"It's something we've been longing for," said Cipriani, who joined the Sharks from Melbourne Rebels in the summer. "We had to give the fans something to cheer about and we did."

Cipriani scored one try and helped create another for debutant winger Mark Jennings to bring Sale right back into contention. And after Cardiff replacement Lewis Jones was sin-binned with seven minutes to go, they struck the winning blow through prop Tony Buckley.

Cipriani has endured a stop-start first season with the Sharks so far, with injury and illness restricting him to just three starts, and former Cardiff fly-half Nick Macleod was preferred ahead of him for the number 10 jersey.

"Every player wants to have game time," Cipriani said. "I've just got to fit in with what the coach wants and needs. I'm new into a team.

"Obviously I want to start. Mac is a long servant for the club and he's a great player.

"He wants that jersey but, if you've got two 10s going for it and both playing well, that's better for the team. I've got to keep working at it and hopefully I'll get a start next week."

Sale director of rugby Bryan Redpath was thrilled with the impact made by his club's high-profile recruit.

"It was great to see him perform like that and hopefully it will give us a huge confidence boost," he said. "His attacking flair has never been in question, but he had three great kicks for field position and he made his tackles when he needed to, and that was just as important."

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