x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Danny Cipriani's long road ahead to earn an England recall

Cipriani must mean business by opting to sign for Sale Sharks, though, in his stated aim of becoming England's fly-half in time for the 2015 World Cup.

Danny Cipriani, centre, is leaving the Melbourne Rebels to play for Sale Sharks in England.
Danny Cipriani, centre, is leaving the Melbourne Rebels to play for Sale Sharks in England.

Given all the hard work they put in to get their public back onside with their second-place finish in the Six Nations, England's players might have welcomed news that Danny Cipriani is ready to rejoin them with a note of caution this week.

"Nice of you to clock in again, Danny Boy, but we have been doing OK without you, thanks very much," might have been the gist of it.

The world has moved on since the former London Wasps fly-half was seen as the future of English rugby union.

Joining a team called the Rebels on the other side of the world was just about right, according to his detractors.

Now he just seems like a poor man's version of Owen Farrell. Older, more fragile and more hassle than he is worth, surely?

Neither he nor Danny Care, his equally lauded half-back partner in age-group rugby, has been able to do right for doing wrong of late.

Cipriani must mean business by opting to sign for Sale Sharks, though, in his stated aim of becoming England's fly-half in time for the 2015 World Cup.

There would be easier routes back into the English game than playing for a club run by the iron fist of Steve Diamond, the abrasive coach and chief executive at Sale.

"People talk about Danny being uncontrollable, but that's nonsense," Diamond was quoted as saying this week.

Time will tell whether Diamond's methods will help revive a lost talent.