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England Rugby
O'Connor backs Cipriani for England comeback
ESPN Staff
June 17, 2012
Danny Cipriani in action for the Melbourne Rebels, Melbourne Rebels v Blues, AAMI Park stadium, Melbourne, Australia, February 11, 2011
Danny Cipriani will play for Sale Sharks next season © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Danny Cipriani | James O'Connor
Tournaments/Tours: Aviva Premiership

James O'Connor has backed former Melbourne Rebels team-mate Danny Cipriani to re-ignite his international career with England.

After two mixed years of Super Rugby experience, Cipriani will return to the Aviva Premiership next season with Sale Sharks.

It is almost four years since he last pulled on an England jersey - against the All Blacks at Twickenham - but O'Connor believes that he has lifted his game to a level where he can compete for a place in Stuart Lancaster's plans.

While his playing career has been blighted by dips in form and defensive issues, Cipriani has also struggled to remain out of the limelight off the field. O'Connor insists that the former Wasps playmaker is focused on just one thing, however.

"Danny benefited massively from coming to Melbourne. His game is a lot more complete having played on our harder surfaces," O'Connor told The Rugby Paper.

"He has great vision and is a very handy kicker. He also got a bit bigger while he was out here and that has helped in other aspects of his game.

"I think he is more than ready to step back into the international fold and he is the right age now. His rugby career means everything to him. Almost every conversation we ever had was about how much he wanted to get back into an England jersey. He wants it badly and he is returning a better player."

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