Cipriani ready to step into Flood void
January 8, 2012
Danny Cipriani is enjoying life at the Rebels © Getty Images
Exiled fly-half Danny Cipriani is adamant he still harbours hopes of a call up to the England EPS squad which is announced on Wednesday.
The former Wasps half-back last lined up for England back in November 2008 and currently plies his trade in Australia for the Melbourne Rebels. And he found himself out of the England frame under Martin Johnson's regime. But with Stuart Lancaster at the helm - a man who the 24-year-old has worked with before, Cipriani is hopeful that he may find himself back in the red rose shirt come February 4 when England face Scotland at Murrayfield.
And with Toby Flood struggling for fitness ahead of the Six Nations, Cipriani could be one of the shock names in Wednesday's EPS squad. "There's a clause in my contract which would allow me to leave the Rebels if I get picked for England during the 2012 Super Rugby season," Cipriani told the Daily Express. "I've worked with Stuart Lancaster before and I've got a lot of respect for him.
"I'm encouraged that he's said that players who were previously overlooked or on the fringes are now going to be considered to play for England. I'm not saying that I am definitely going to be picked but from my point of view I've never been fitter or trained harder and I've never wanted it (international rugby) more.
"I'm preparing as well as I can for the 2012 Super Rugby season and I'm settled in my life away from rugby. My dream is to play for my country again. It means everything to me and is the whole reason I started playing rugby.
"I'm optimistic of getting another chance to play for England and I won't give up hoping, but I know there are no guarantees for anyone. I've got a long-term goal now to be in the England squad for 2012 and to be first-choice No. 10.
"In the past it was probably easier not to pick me. I'm working now to make sure I front up in those areas."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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