'Wonderful' Cipriani will test Springboks

2018-06-22 14:26
Danny Cipriani (Gallo)

Cape Town - While the South African focus will obviously be on the Springboks on Saturday and their efforts to secure a 3-0 series whitewash, one of the more unique stories of the day belongs to England.

It comes in the form of 30-year-old Danny Cipriani, who will start a Test match for the first time in almost 10 years. 

Cipriani replaces George Ford at flyhalf to earn just his 15th Test cap in an international career that has spanned over a decade. 

Interestingly, Cipriani's last England start came against South Africa at Twickenham in 2008. It was a day that the then-21-year-old would want to forget as the Boks ran in five unanswered tries to secure a famous 42-6 win. 

Since then, Cipriani has struggled in his career with disciplinary issues blighting his record. 

Now, he seems to finally have settled down and he is the man that Eddie Jones has turned to in his darkest hour. 

Currently playing his rugby out of Wasps in England, Cipriani is a team-mate of Bok fullback Willie le Roux. 

"Chatting to Willie, who plays with him at the same club, he said he was a wonderful player," Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus said of Cipriani.

"Willie will tell you that he’s learnt so much from Cipriani just in the way of attack and running lines and picking the right options really late.

"I think we’ll be tested. It will depend what the weather is like, but he is a wonderful player."

Erasmus acknowledged that Cipriani had a "naughty" past, but he said that he had always been impressed by the player's natural ability.

"Even in his stint at the Rebels and all over when you follow him … he tends to play wonderful rugby. He’ll test us, definitely," Erasmus said. 

The Springboks, meanwhile, have also backed their most naturally attacking playmaker at flyhalf with Elton Jantjies set to start. 

Kick-off is at 17:05.


South Africa

15 Warrick Gelant, 14 S'bu Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Jean-Luc du Preez, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Embrose Papier 22 Handre Pollard, 23 Willie le Roux


15 Elliot Daly, 14 Jonny May, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Owen Farrell (captain), 11 Mike Brown, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 Maro Itoje, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Joe Marler

Substitutes: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Jonny Hill, 20 Mark Wilson, 21 Sam Simmonds, 22 Ben Spencer, 23 Denny Solomona 


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