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Danny Cipriani praises Finn Russell and Marcus Smith ahead of his return to rugby

Danny Cipriani

Danny Cipriani has lauded attack-minded fly-halves such as Finn Russell and Marcus Smith ahead of his return to rugby.

Former England fly-half Cipriani left Gloucester with immediate effect in December last year, just three rounds into the Gallagher Premiership season, and hasn’t played a competitive game of rugby since.

Cipriani will return to professional rugby with Bath this season after 10 months out of the game, and big things will still be expected of the exciting playmaker, who unfortunately never reached his potential on the international stage.

The 33-year-old was speaking to the Daily Mail and hailed the impact that like-minded fly-halves such as Russell, Smith and All Blacks number 10 Richie Mo’unga have had on the sport in recent times.

Danny Cipriani on the exciting fly-halves in rugby.

“I’ve watched bits back and I saw some of the stuff that Finn Russell was doing. That injection of life he put into the game seemed like it helped. He was on fire. It all depends on what the coach wants. The coach dictates a lot of how the play goes,” Cipriani said.

“If the team aren’t happy with it, then conversations start happening to push things in different directions. Finn made a difference when he came on with his inventiveness and his ability to play on the gainline but it was a bit too late. There’s so many ways to skin a cat.

“Look at the expansive way Quins won the league: that was a great advert for rugby. It was great to see. Marcus Smith has got all the skills and it was good to see a club buying into their own identity and going after it.

“The All Blacks seem to be leading the way as always. Richie Mo’unga is probably the standout 10 right now. The new rules are trying to bring in a faster-paced game and it will start going that way.”

The former England fly-half looks to get back to his best with Bath.

Cipriani was named as the Premiership’s player of the season for his efforts back in 2018/19, but he wasn’t part of England’s squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, having won his last cap for his country the year before.

While it now looks too late for Cipriani to revive his international career, although the likes of Morne Steyn and Quade Cooper may give him hope, he is certainly still capable of having a big impact at Bath.

Bath were underwhelming last season, having finished in seventh place in the Premiership while they were knocked out of the European Challenge Cup in the semi-finals.

However, Bath have plenty of talent at their disposal, such as British and Irish Lions duo Anthony Watson and Taulupe Faletau, and Cipriani’s introduction may finally see them live up to their potential.

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