With Eddie Jones announcing his 34-man squad yesterday for the three-Test series against the Springboks in June, there was one name in particular which everyone was looking our for – Danny Cipriani.
The 30-year-old has been included in the squad and he looks set to make his first appearance for his country since 2015. His form for Wasps has been excellent over the last two seasons with many believing that this call-up is long overdue.
Cipriani has won 14 caps for England but his last start came all the way back in 2008.
The former Melbourne Rebels flyhalf has had a history of off-the-field incidents including a drink-driving incident in 2016.
Jones has spoken about the 30-year-old’s inclusion but fired a warning that if he doesn’t behave, he will be out of his plans pretty quickly.
“I haven’t discussed Danny’s temperament with him. I’ve been looking at it purely from a rugby point of view, what he can add and what he can do,” Jones said.
“I’m convinced there is something he can offer because he’s made changes to his game and his character will come through.
“If he’s a good character he could be in the team for a long time. If he’s a bad character, there’s always a plane back from Johannesburg.”
Jones does admit that the past is the past and all he is focussed on is how Cipriani performs for England over the coming weeks.
“The baggage doesn’t worry me, it’s how he behaves in front of me. I can’t control what he’s done in the past. All I can do is control what he does in the future,” Jones said.
“We need to give him that flexibility to display his talent. He’s definitely got a creative talent and we don’t want to annul that, but he has to understand there’s a team and he has to play within that team. It’ll be exciting to see how he goes.”