London - Danny Cipriani hopes to shrug off more
international despair to help engineer Wasps' first Premiership title triumph
in nine years at Twickenham on Saturday.
The flyhalf's career has failed to deliver the plentiful
international recognition he promised over a decade ago when he burst onto the
scene as a precocious youngster in his first spell at the club.
And the failure to get aboard either the England plane to
Argentina or the Lions one to New Zealand has left the 29-year-old further
wondering not just when but if he might get another taste of wearing the Red
Yet, Cipriani remains defiant about his ambitions and is
determined to remind both Eddie Jones and Warren Gatland of his audacious rugby
skills as Wasps take on last year's beaten finalists Exeter Chiefs in the
The former U16 and U19 England star, who has 14 senior Test
caps, insists: "It's been an exciting and challenging year and it would
have been great to round it off by going away with England but it's not to be
"I'm not saying I should be out there but I would
certainly have loved to be picked. Eddie Jones has chosen the players he feels
will do well in Argentina and he keeps in touch with me to let me know what I
need to do to improve on and get back in the squad.
"He will message me after a game saying Danny you need
to work on this or work on that. We've also spoke on the phone about areas he
wants me to keep working on and keep focusing on."
Cipriani added: "I have to adapt and implement it into
my game. Sometimes it's difficult with the way your club players because you
want to drive the team forward and win games.
"I'm not sure I could have done much more with Wasps
this season but I will continue to push myself to get better and push myself
forward for England.
"I've enjoyed my season and it's gone really well for
me since I came back to Wasps. Dai Young has been building this squad for a
while now, since the club was nearly relegated four or five years ago. It was
great to become part of it and now we are in a Premiership Final where we can
really give it our best shot to lift some silverware.
"The club has a great history of producing a winning
performance at Twickenham when it matters most, and we will need to do so again
if we're going to beat a very tough Exeter team."
Exeter's versatile England back Henry Slade has the
opportunity to enhance his prospects of starting an upcoming Test in South
Chiefs lost a pulsating Premiership shoot-out with Saracens
28-20 last May, having pushed England's most dominant club so close.
gained some revenge by beating them 18-16 in the semi-final at Sandy Park last
Saturday, Slade is anxious to enjoy a far happier Twickenham experience this
Slade, 24, insists: "Our mind-set is totally different
this year. Twelve months ago it was our first Final and we were just happy to
be there and make a real game of it. Now we go to Twickenham desperate to win,
and knowing we have to in order to show we are a better, improved team.
"We've established ourselves as one of the
Premiership's top teams, and with that comes the expectation and pressure to win
trophies. The fans will want to see us lifting the trophy at the end of the
game and so the players have to deliver it.
"Once you have walked off Twickenham a loser in a Final
you don't want to do it again so soon. We can use that as added