Cipriani 'close' to return

Wasps director backing young number 10 for England

Last updated: 15th February 2009   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Cipriani 'close' to return

Cipriani: Support

I'll be very surprised if he is not back in an England jersey by the end of the Six Nations.

Ian McGeechan
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Ian McGeechan is backing Danny Cipriani for an England recall after the Wasps fly-half kicked 21 points in the 36-29 defeat of Leicester Tigers.

The 21-year-old was dropped by national boss Martin Johnson after struggling to impose himself in the autumn internationals against Australia and South Africa.

But those caps came just after he had returned from a serious ankle injury and Wasps director of rugby McGeechan, who will coach the British and Irish Lions on their tour of South Africa this summer, believes the youngster is now starting to rediscover his best form.

Qualities

"I'll be very surprised if he is not back in an England jersey by the end of the Six Nations," McGeechan said.

"I think you've got to be careful not to underestimate the size of that injury. Maybe some expectations were higher than they should have been.

"Now he is starting to shape up again. He's been good in training this week and he was good today.

"I'm very pleased. He put a lot into that and he was pretty physical - he put himself on the front line and the players appreciate that.

"He will always do things that lift a team."

Converted tries from Serge Betsen, Chris Bishay and John Hart helped guide Wasps to just their fifth win of the season in the Guinness Premiership, but they were unable to claim a try-scoring bonus point.

Belief

Instead tries from Scott Hamilton, Sam Vesty, Jordan Crane and a last-minute one from Johne Murphy gave the Tigers two bonus points and acting coach Richard Cockerill is not coming down too hard on his players.

"With 90 seconds we had nothing, so it was good to get two points and four tries," Cockerill said.

"We played some good stuff at times, but conceded some pretty soft points and it's hard when you do that.

"I give the players credit for playing to the death. The guys are pleased that we've taken a step forward in how we want to play, but disappointed because it was a winnable game for us.

"We would have liked to win to keep up with the pack, but the season is still very much alive for us."

Meanwhile, the club is refusing to confirm whether it will appeal former England captain Martin Corry's six-week ban.

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