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Healey backs Cipriani for England

Austin Healey has urged England to give "serious consideration" to ending Danny Cipriani's international exile.

Healey issued his verdict after Cipriani was named Aviva Premiership player of the month for March following a string of fine displays that have placed Sale on the threshold of the play-offs.

The 26-year-old won the last of his seven caps in November 2008 with his Test career suffering amid perceived problems over his attitude and celebrity lifestyle.

Healy believes it is time for England, who tour New Zealand in June, to look again at Cipriani.

"The fortunes and abilities of Danny and Sale seem to have run in tandem over the past 18 months and the comparisons are no coincidence," said Healey, who won 51 caps between 1997-2003.

"He has successfully transformed his game from a reckless talent to an influential and controlling number 10 and now warrant serious consideration for further honours.

"Danny has always had a maverick inside waiting to break out at any stage, which he still has.

"A maverick playing within a structured game plan is very dangerous."

Owen Farrell is England's first choice fly-half with George Ford deputising during the recent RBS 6 Nations. Cipriani is competing with Freddie Burns and Stephen Myler to be considered third choice.

England will be missing their Premiership finalists for the first Test against the All Blacks on June 7 and also play a midweek game against the Crusaders, potentially creating a chance for Cipriani.


From Belfast Telegraph