With Danny Cipriani you get what you expect – on and off the pitch

Danny Cipriani is consistent on and off the pitch. With ball in hand the outside half has always been able to unlock defences with handling and vision that few of his rugby generation can match. Off the pitch, he is a walking accident waiting to happen. He even opted out of Britain to escape his reputation as a problem child and headed to Melbourne where he got into more trouble! The decision by Eddie Jones to leave the Gloucester No10 out of the England training squad is, he insists, based on the fact that Cipriani is third or fourth choice in his experienced coaching eyes. That is laughable.
Cipriani is the form No10 in England IF you want to play a game that constantly stresses the defence but could back fire costing you position or points. Cipriani has always played that way and as long as his coach and team mates have understood the dangers that come with his talent, tries have been created that constantly make the highlights reels.
Jones is less than a year away from the World Cup in Japan and has to get his 31 man squad sorted before the Six Nations championship. The November tests with South Africa, New Zealand, Japan and Australia are his final opportunities to discover who could make a late bid to go to the World Cup.
The Six Nations is too late to start messing around with new combinations and different attacking and defensive systms. New defence coach John Mitchell faces a major challenge to get the team playing his way with limited training camps before the November games.
That is another reason Cipriani is likely to miss out on the November games because England need players who will follow instructions and not question them.
Cipriani does not fit that mould and never has. He challenges coaches and team mates to get onto his unique wave length and it can leave him isolated in a system that is controlled by someone like Jones who follows the “my way or the highway” mantra.
That is why Cipriani is not in the squad. It is not the result of his conviction for being an idiot in Jersey before the season started.
Cipriani is a luxury item Jones does want to include in his travel plans for Japan and the louder those outside the squad call for the Gloucester players inclusion the firmer will be Jones’s resolve to ignore him.

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