Danny Cipriani has been omitted from England’s training squad for a three-day camp in Bristol, which begins on Sunday, despite his eye-catching club form with Gloucester.
Cipriani was the starting fly-half in England’s last test match, a victory over South Africa, but the Gloucester man has recently been embroiled in off-field trouble, which has cast a shadow over his on-field exploits.
The 30-year-old was charged with common assault and resisting arrest in Jersey last month. Cipriani was fined £2,000 at Jersey Magistrates’ Court and a further £2,000 by his club.
Head coach Eddie Jones had outlined earlier in the month that he would “make a decision on whether he’s going to add value to the team” adding “If a guy gets in trouble all the time you’ve got to have second thoughts about it. We will make a decision on whether he’s going to add value to the team.”
Jones clearly feels that Cipriani’s off-field troubles are enough to leave him out of the squad which also includes Sale Sharks winger Chris Ashton and Leicester Tigers’ centre Manu Tuilagi.
Tuilagi has not played for England since the 2016 Six Nations and is named in the training squad for the first time in over a year, while Ashton is included despite currently serving a ban for a tip tackle in pre-season which will see him miss the first six rounds of the Gallagher Premiership.
“The training camp in Bristol is our last opportunity to get the squad together before the [autumn] internationals so it is vital we put down some parameters, particularly with John Mitchell coming in as defence coach,” said Jones.
“We’ll implement a slightly different defence philosophy building on the great work Paul Gustard has done to keep advancing our defence. It’s a great opportunity for the players to work with John and for the team to keep evolving.”