'England have got to pick Cipriani'
December 18, 2013
Danny Cipriani has been playing superbly for Sale this season © PA Photos
Cipriani contributed 28 points for Sale in their thrashing of Oyonnax last weekend but has the chance to prove his Test credentials to Stuart Lancaster on Friday evening when Sale take on London Irish. And for Cueto, who is no stranger to Test action having won 55 caps for England, he feels Cipriani's form warrants a Test call-up.
"England have got to pick Danny. If he carries on like he is right now they can't ignore him," Cueto told the Manchester Evening News. "We all know what Danny Cipriani can do in terms of that he's a maverick and will try things that nobody else will try.
"In the past sometimes that's gone against him and he hasn't shown that consistency and that ability to run and control a game week in, week out. But he's really got his head down this season and he's in a completely different state physically and mentally to this time last year and he's reaping the rewards on the field.
"He's really bought into the team plan and if he sticks to that and keeps adding those little bits of brilliance then they can't ignore him."
England currently have a good number of options at fly-half with Owen Farrell, Toby Flood, Freddie Burns, Henry Slade, George Ford and Cipriani all attempting to prove to Lancaster they should be worthy of the jersey. But Cueto feels it should be the last in the list who holds the jersey.
"The tens that currently hold the shirt aren't doing anything brilliant," Cueto added. "Faz [Owen Farrell] is solid and he always will be. Floody [Toby Flood] is going all right at Leicester, Freddie Burns isn't having the best of times at Gloucester so Cips has got to be in with a sniff.
"He's got that X factor but at international level it is the consistency that is important. He needs to keep on his basics as the higher you go those basics become more and more important. If he can continue that which he is doing, that edge which he does have means he can offer things which very few other guys can."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Despite having lost all four of their 2014 Six Nations games, the future of Italian rugby is bright with the team showing a new youthful core, argues Enrico Borra
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'