London - Flamboyant Melbourne Rebels playmaker Danny Cipriani could miss the
opening month of the Super rugby season if he earns a call-up for next
year's Six Nations.
The headline-generating Englishman has a clause in his
contract allowing him to be released for national duties with the Six
Nations running from February 4 to March 17.
Cipriani had been at long odds to be selected for England while plying his trade in Australia during Martin Johnson's reign.
However last week's resignation of the 2003 World Cup
winning captain and uncertainty surrounding England's next manager has
provided the 24-year-old Cipriani with hope of a recall.
The mercurial No 10 has a priceless opportunity to
enhance his case on home soil in the Barbarians' clash against the
Wallabies on Saturday at Twickenham.
When Cipriani left England to play for the Rebels in
their inaugural season, he effectively surrendered his chances of
playing at this year's Rugby World Cup.
Under Johnson, English players turning out overseas were only to be selected in "exceptional circumstances".
"I have a long term goal in 2015 to be in that squad (for
the World Cup), to be first choice 10 and to be back here in the short
term and obviously play well this season," Cipriani said.
"Hopefully to be that exceptional case."
Cipriani is a major drawcard in Britain, having provided
great fodder for the British press with his colourful career since
making his international debut in 2008.
His partying ways and high-profile romances have often
led him into trouble in both the United Kingdom and more recently in
However with question marks over England's premier
playmakers Jonny Wilkinson and Toby Flood following England's
quarter-final exit at the World Cup, the gifted Cipriani could quickly
return to favour.
With more than a dozen British journalists hanging off
his every word at a Park Lane hotel on Monday, he said he had matured
following a series of off-field incidents at the Rebels that marred his
opening year in Melbourne.
"Touch wood I don't make any more mistakes," he said.
One of the major flaws in Cipriani's game has been his tackling.
He felt he had ironed out some of the kinks in his
defensive game with former Wallabies defensive coach John Muggleton at
"I am making sure I get myself in the right positions and getting my footwork right," Cipriani said.
However Rebels captain Stirling Mortlock, who will play
alongside Cipriani for the Barbarians on Saturday, cautioned about his
"I am impressed with the path that he is on but there is still a lot that needs to be done," he said.
Sonny Bill Williams has withdrawn from the Barbarians squad because of a hamstring injury.