Haskell happy to see Wasps sting
October 9, 2008
Haskell is hoping Wasps can find their best form this weekend © Getty Images
James Haskell was happy to see team-mates Danny Cipriani and Josh Lewsey clash in training this week - because it means Wasps are coming to the boil nicely ahead of Sunday's Heineken Cup game against Castres. The two England internationals came to blows on Tuesday after Lewsey had criticised Cipriani for missing tackles during a defensive training drill. Cipriani, 20, arrived at training yesterday with a cut just above his lip but director of rugby Ian McGeechan confirmed neither player will face disciplinary action.
Haskell believes it was just the kind of fighting spirit Wasps need as they attempt to get their season back on track against Castres after losing five of their first six matches. "Intensity is what has been lacking on the field," Haskell said. "To get it back you have to start on the training field because if you can't do it there, then you won't do it in a match.
"I like it when there is an edge to training. That niggle is good for everyone."
Training ground flare-ups are not uncommon in rugby - "We do not have faces of ballerinas," said Wasps captain Rafael Ibanez - but the fact a routine incident became front-page news indicates how Cipriani's profile has grown beyond rugby. Cipriani has become a regular target for the paparazzi since he started seeing model and presenter Kelly Brook.
But Edwards insisted Cipriani remains entirely focused on rugby and he played down suggestions his profile was causing a distraction or jealousy within the squad. "Danny is treated the same here as everybody else," said Edwards. "If he is late for training he will be fined and if his training is not up to scratch he gets told off, as everyone else does.
"What goes into the papers is out of our control. All that we can do is make sure that Danny's got a good attitude to training, leaves his ego at the door as the rest of the players do and works hard, as he has done over the last three years. No-one at this club is questioning his commitment. He is one of the hardest working players at the club.
"If he was late for training I would be a lot more concerned."
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