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Cipriani hails England progress

England fly-half Danny Cipriani highlighted the progress made on his return to Test rugby after pressing his claim for a place on the bench in Saturday's final Test against New Zealand.

Cipriani landed three of fourth conversions, kicked well and set-up the opening try for Joe Gray in Tuesday's 38-7 victory over a weakened Crusaders team in Christchurch.

The 26-year-old has been successfully reintegrated into the England squad after a six-year exile, winning his eighth cap in the first Test against the All Blacks and now close to claiming a ninth.

Owen Farrell has been ruled out of the series finale with a knee injury, giving Cipriani the chance to offer cover from the bench.

"I've learnt an awful lot from the coaches and I played with a confidence against the Crusaders that I can learn from," Cipriani said.

"The confidence is what the coaches are instilling in us and that's put me in good stead for next season and to have a big pre-season.

"The short-term goal of everyone in that squad is to try to get into the Saturday team, but everyone in the squad is going to come away from this tour knowing that they've learnt a lot and improved as a player. I certainly feel like I have.

"England are developing something great, just with the DNA and culture that's been provided.

"You can see from the performances in the first and second Test that England are going in the right direction and everyone can be proud of what's going on so far."


From Belfast Telegraph