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Stuart Lancaster won't dwell on Mike Catt-Danny Cipriani bust-up

Published 08/10/2015

Danny Cipriani was left out of England's World Cup squad
Danny Cipriani was left out of England's World Cup squad

England are refusing to dwell on revelations of a training-ground fracas between Danny Cipriani and Mike Catt as their doomed World Cup draws to a close.

A flashpoint - described as a "robust conversation" - erupted between the fly-half and attacking skills coach on the day before the squad was announced in August.

Cipriani was disappointed at having learned the previous evening that he was to be omitted from the final 31. When the 27-year-old failed to perform a drill in the manner requested by Catt, a row ensued. It is understood Catt told Cipriani: "I will end your career".

"There are two sides to every story. Everybody knows Mike Catt pretty well. I won't extend that particular story," head coach Stuart Lancaster said.

"Incidents like these are isolated. That particular incident I saw. I had a good chat with both of them.

"Everyone shook hands and it was all done in a short space of time and we all moved on.

"There was no problem, but the reality is that things like that happen when there are a lot of players in camp. It's a non-story."

Cipriani, for his part, says he still dreams of playing for England again and that he has a "good working relationship" with Catt.

The Sale fly-half wrote in his column in The Sun: "There has been a lot said about a training-ground incident I had with Mike Catt this week when I was with England.

"But I respect what happens in the England camp and what goes on there, stays there. We spoke and addressed the issue the next day and we have a good working relationship.

"For me, playing for England is still my dream. The commitment and drive to put on the white shirt is still there.

"Sale Sharks are now my priority along with getting stuck into the season. If I play well for them, that's all I can do to be selected for the Six Nations squad."

England have been in fire-fighting mode ahead of Saturday's final Pool A match against Uruguay as the fallout from the nation's worst World Cup performance continues.

Apart from the stand-off between Cipriani and Catt, they have been forced to diffuse a Twitter row between James Haskell and 2003 World Cup winner Neil Back that started over a selfie stick.

The outcome of World Rugby's investigation into an alleged approach to match officials by two members of England's coaching team at half-time in the loss to Australia has yet to decided and the probe is now in day four.

"I'll assume we'll hear something within the next 24 hours. There's nothing more to add to that," Lancaster said.

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