Austin Healy: ‘Danny Cipriani was never that good’

Former England international Austin Healy has played down the significance of Dnny Cipriani’s Gloucester exit, saying the fly-half was “never that good anyway”.

The former England number 10 left Gloucester with immediate effect during the week, with Scottish international Adam Hastings set to replace him at the end of the season.

Cipriani’s exit took many by surprise and the 2018/19 Gallgher Premiership player of the year said he was leaving Gloucester with “mixed emotions”.

However, Healy felt that Cipriani may not be much of a loss to Gloucester and questioned whether he had much desire to continue playing professional rugby.

“The [former] Gloucester fly-half is someone who played rugby with his heart but who also lived his life with his heart.

“He’s obviously a complicated individual with lots going on in his personal life, but in Gloucester’s season-opening loss at Leicester, he was a complete and utter mess.

“I know his career is not over, but I fear he has reached a stage in his life where his heart may no longer be in it.

“Danny never really hit the heights with England because he was never good enough. He was nowhere near as good as George Ford or Owen Farrell,” Healy wrote in The Telegraph.

‘Cipriani has never been able to change people’s perceptions of him’

The former Leicester Tigers player noted Cipriani’s talent, but questioned if he was ever able to put the team’s goals ahead of his own.

“He has thrown some amazing passes, he’s box office with an immense highlights reel, but if you were to play his 80-minute reel you would see a lot more negative than positive.

“You cannot play international rugby when your goal-kicking percentage starts with a seven – at best – either.

“Danny has never been able to change people’s perceptions of him. He worked hard and he trained hard, but he has never put to bed the perception that he could be disruptive to a squad.

“You can be as much of a gifted maverick as you like, but the common goal has to be the team. And when it isn’t, people turn on you,” Healy said.