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Wasps star Danny Cipriani: I will never give up hope of England recall

Published 22/10/2016

Danny Cipriani remains hopeful of adding to his 14 England caps
Danny Cipriani remains hopeful of adding to his 14 England caps

Danny Cipriani has vowed never to give up on his England dream despite being overlooked by boss Eddie Jones.

England coach Jones has claimed he will only draft Wasps star Cipriani into his squad when he ranks the gifted playmaker as his first-choice fly-half.

Cipriani has accepted Jones' position, but also moved to insist he would not court undue acclaim if handed a back-seat role in any future England squad.

The 28-year-old believes mentoring sessions with "father figure" Steve Black leave him better equipped to handle the "white noise" of the celebrity element to his fame.

"I am not going to ever give up," Cipriani said on his battle to add to his 14 England caps.

"Obviously there comes a point when you are 34 and it's probably not going to happen.

"They (England) have won nine from nine, so all I've got to do is keep doing what I'm doing.

"Eddie (Jones) is obviously a very well-seasoned rugby man who knows his stuff. He's a big name in the game.

"So I respect his views and what he's saying. He really does try to get players to get better in his way. That's what you've got to go out there and do."

Taskmaster England head coach Jones insisted when overlooking Cipriani that the former Sale man must effectively overtake George Ford and Owen Farrell even to win selection to his national squad.

"For Cipriani to get into the squad he's got to be able to show he can be number one," Jones said.

Cipriani is ready to take up that challenge, but also pointed out he worked away diligently without issue in England's training camps ahead of the 2015 World Cup.

"It's a difficult one, isn't it? I can't sit here and disagree with what he's saying," Cipriani said of Jones' comments.

"I said the point to him that I was in the World Cup camp for a number of months and was clearly number three in that situation.

"I put my best foot forward and like to think I got some positive reviews out of that. But he runs his team the way he does and you've got to respect that.

"I can see what he's saying, especially if he doesn't know me that well.

"I've just got to do whatever I can to be the fly-half he wants me to be or be that first-choice 10.

"He's very good with his communication with all the players. That would be the case for every player, not just me.

"I've just got to keep putting in performances on the field and if it takes a bit longer, it takes a bit longer."

Cipriani returned to first club Wasps this summer and has immediately hit top form.

Wasps rugby director Dai Young revealed he has been amazed by the constant outside interest in Cipriani, who retains a strong celebrity following outside of sport thanks to several famous former girlfriends and a number of high-profile off-field errors.

"I am blown away by the attention, I really don't get it," Young said - in no way criticising Cipriani.

"He has got 14 caps for England. He is not someone who goes chasing it, in fairness. He is a quiet fella and he doesn't go chasing it - I am just blown away by all the attention."

Cipriani believes he is finally ready to leave his off-field controversies behind him, albeit despite currently serving a drink-drive ban.

Jonny Wilkinson's long-time mentor Black is keeping Cipriani focused, and the former Sale star admitted he has benefited from that regimen.

"A lot of it is white noise," Cipriani said of the celebrity circus that surrounds him.

"I'm as normal as they come. I don't let that affect me as much.

"It did get to me in the past. I'm human so it's still going to get to me to a certain degree.

"Yes I've made mistakes. Who hasn't? But you've got to tread a slightly different line. And it's just getting used to that.

"I've worked with Blackie for the last four years. He's someone you can turn to rationalise things and gain perspective.

"That's really helped me, evaluating things that are happening rather than acting irrationally or emotionally because they are probably the worst ways to deal with it.

"He's been a father figure to me. Some guys don't need that but I did, so it's definitely helped."

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