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Wasps director of rugby Dai Young eases fears over Danny Cipriani's head injury

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young has eased fears over Danny Cipriani after the talented fly-half left the field with a head injury during his side's 20-15 victory over Northampton at Franklin's Gardens.

Cipriani, who has been ever-present for unbeaten Wasps this season, was forced from the field in the early stages of the second-half after tackling Northampton number eight Louis Picamoles.

The 28-year-old was replaced by Kyle Eastmond in the 45th minute with inside centre Jimmy Gopperth moving into the fly-half slot for the remainder of the game. The former Sale Sharks stand-off did not return to the action.

"It was nothing serious when he went off," said Young.

"He went off for a head check and we just made the call pretty much. I haven't spoken to the doctor whether he's OK or not. With Kyle on the bench as well, we were probably five or 10 minutes away from making a substitute anyway.

"We've only got two 10s so we're not going to risk anything. He went off for a test and I called it even before we had any clarification whether he's alright or not. He'll still have to go through all the protocols and everything but he's fine in the dressing room there now.

"It wasn't a case that the message got to us that it's a permanent change. I made that call even before we got there really."

George North's early try had the visitors on the back foot as the Saints dominated possession and territory in the opening quarter.

Cipriani sparked a Wasps revival midway through the first-half, however, with an intelligent kick and regather deep inside his own half which finished with Gopperth racing away to touch down.

"Danny's got real X-Factor," Young said.

"It was great vision on the short side. A little bit of gas first to get through the players, lovely little chip through and gather, good link play by Guy (Thompson) and obviously real hard by Jimmy to get on his shoulder and run for his life to get to the line really.

"I thought that was pretty much us first-half. We were playing on the counter-punch really."

A late Josh Bassett try and 10 points from the boot of Gopperth was enough to maintain Wasps' unbeaten start to the season despite a late charge from the home side.

"I said to the players, we rode our luck today without a shadow of a doubt," added Young.

"We won that game today on sheer heart and togetherness. We found a way to win. I'm really pleased because we were under pressure for big parts of that game today. I thought we showed a real attitude and a fight."

Meanwhile, Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder was left to rue a host of botched try-scoring opportunities from his side.

The Saints made a blistering start to the contest with Wales winger North scorching over in the first minute of the game but Mallinder's men would have to wait until the 75th minute for their next score courtesy of substitute Tom Kessell.

"We just have to be a bit more accurate," Mallinder said.

"We had lots of chances to win that game but sometimes that's life. You've got to dust yourself down and get back into it which we'll do and we'll come out fighting against Exeter."


From Belfast Telegraph