Rugby

Cipriani aims to shrug off international woes

2017-05-26 08:45
Danny Cipriani (Getty)

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 Rose. 

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 Premiership Final. 

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 this time. 

"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 America. 

Chiefs lost a pulsating Premiership shoot-out with Saracens 28-20 last May, having pushed England's most dominant club so close.

They 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 time round.

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 motivation."

Read more on:    danny cipriani  |  rugby
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