x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Cipriani may return to Wasps if he misses World Cup shot

Danny Cipriani has revealed he could make a short-term comeback for Wasps next year, midway through his stint with the Melbourne Rebels, if he fails to make England's World Cup squad.

Danny Cipriani has revealed he could make a short-term comeback for Wasps next year, midway through his stint with the Melbourne Rebels, if he fails to make England's World Cup squad. Cipriani signed a ground-breaking two-year deal with the new Super 15 franchise after being given "no indication" that he was part of Martin Johnson's England plans. The 22-year-old still harbours strong international ambitions and his recent form has prompted encouraging words from England's attack coach Brian Smith with regards to the forthcoming tour to Australia and New Zealand. But Johnson has already confirmed that Cipriani will not be considered for next year's Six Nations, which makes selection for the autumn World Cup highly unlikely.

And Cipriani would be open to the possibility of a return to Wasps between September and December 2011 in order to play some rugby during the long Super 15 off-season. "Between my first and second years there could be a possibility of coming back to play in England," said Cipriani. "Wasps would be the first club I talk to whatever decision I make and will be the first club I think of." Jason Robinson, the England World Cup-winning winger, is to leave Sale Sharks at the end of the season, the club announced yesterday.

The former dual-code international has been part of the Guinness Premiership club's coaching staff this term under the guidance of Kingsley Jones, the director of rugby. The Sharks have announced the appointment of Mike Brewer, the former All Blacks forward, as head coach, with Jones remaining in his post and now assuming responsibility for areas such as long-term squad planning and the club's academy.

Robinson said: "When Kingsley asked me to help out last year I felt that I couldn't let him or the club down in what was always going to be a very challenging season. "While I had no plans to go into coaching, I was delighted to respond in the club's hour of need. "Having now made sure that Sale Sharks will be playing Guinness Premiership rugby next year, I feel that the time is right to let another coach take up the mantle."

Dean Ryan is the red-hot favourite to succeed Mike Ruddock as director of rugby at relegated Guinness Premiership club Worcester. Ryan, 43, has not worked in English rugby's top flight since he left Gloucester by mutual consent last June. But the former England number eight is believed to be top of Worcester chairman Cecil Duckworth's list as replacement for Ruddock, who has resigned with immediate effect.

"We will now look to take the club forward under new leadership," said Duckworth. "Our focus now switches to the search for a successor to Mike Ruddock." * PA