Danny Cipriani determined to take his chance on England's summer tour to New Zealand
Fly-half Danny Cipriani is hoping being part of England's squad for the summer tour of New Zealand is "just the start".
Last Updated: 28/05/14 9:30am
The Sale fly-half was named in national coach Stuart Lancaster's initial 30-man squad for the summer tour to New Zealand, ending a lengthy spell in the international wilderness.
Cipriani, who has worked with Steve Black, Jonny Wilkinson's former mentor, to help get his career back on track, last appeared for his country back in 2008 but has been rewarded for some fine displays for the Sharks this season.
And with Owen Farrell and Stephen Myler unavailable for the opening Test due to their involvement in the Aviva Premiership final, the 26-year-old finds himself in a shoot-out with Leicester-bound Freddie Burns for the starting berth at no 10 in Auckland on June 7.
"I've got so much learning and catching up to do, I know I'm not first choice here so humility has to come with that immediately," Cipriani said.
"I feel like I've got room to improve, and I'm excited about that.
"I've talked with Steve (Black) that this is definitely a good environment for me to come into.
"I've worked with Stuart before, and he's very straight-talking and I feel he gets the best out of players. So does Andy Farrell in the way he speaks, he's very motivating when he talks about most things he does.
"Everyone responds to that very well.
"It will definitely be emotional for me if I manage to play, but I must prepare for the situation.
"I'm excited to be in the squad now but there's a job for me to go and do, hopefully this is just the start."
Cipriani, who burst onto the scene with Wasps before a spell in Super Rugby with Melbourne Rebels, admits Black has played a crucial role in helping him focus on the task at hand.
He won the last of his seven caps when coming off the bench against New Zealand in a match England lost 32-6.
"Steve is someone to talk to who understands how certain brains work, whether it be Jonny, myself or whoever," he added,
"He sets me different tasks like reading books and talking through them. It keeps the mind occupied when you only train for two or three hours a day.
"I knew I had to make some changes, get my head down and do things the rugby way, and that realisation came probably in April last year.
"Ever since I've started working with Steve Black I just made the conscious effort to get my head down and really go for it."