Danny Cipriani: England should stick with the fly-half, says Sale boss Steve Diamond

Cipriani

Danny Cipriani must still be part of England’s plans this autumn, says his former boss at Sale Steve Diamond.

The Gloucester fly-half was fined on Thursday after pleading guilty to assault and resisting arrest following an incident in a Jersey nightclub.

But Diamond, who was Cipriani’s director of rugby for four years at Sale, says the episode should not spell an end to his England career.

“It would be too harsh,” Diamond told BBC 5 live.

“England need all the help they can get at the moment and players like him are few and far between.

“I think he’ll be pulled into line by [Gloucester head coach] Johan Ackerman a little bit, and told that he’s not even worn the Cherry and White of Gloucester yet.

“He just has to get his talking back on the field.”

The episode is the latest in a line of misdemeanours by the player, but while admitting Cipriani “should know better”, Diamond has sympathy for the 30-year-old’s position.

“When you employ a rugby player you know you are not employing the Pope,” he said.

“They are young lads, it’s still pre-season. They have gone away on a tour and are getting what they need out of it.

“An incident happens and I think if anything he should know a bit better than most as people are waiting for him to make mistakes.

“The magistrates have dealt with it quickly, he’s paid his fine, apologised profusely and we move on.”

‘Cipriani still the right call for England’

Eddie Jones and Danny Cipriani

The Rugby Football Union will await Gloucester’s internal disciplinary process before deciding on their next course of action.

As the game’s governing body, the union have the jurisdiction to charge Cipriani with bringing the game into disrepute.

However it is understood there are no plans as it stands from the Twickenham hierarchy to preclude Cipriani from selection, with the decision in the hands of head coach Eddie Jones.

Cipriani started England’s last Test match at fly-half, helping the side to a 25-10 victory over South Africa in Cape Town.

World Cup winners Matt Dawson and Paul Grayson both believe Cipriani will and should be selected in November.

“He is yet to put a foot out of place for England and actually provided a bit of inspiration for their latest victory,” Grayson said.

“I think Cipriani will play brilliantly for Gloucester and be in contention. I think Eddie will pick him.”

Dawson added: “At 30, with all the scenarios he has found himself in, he should know by now that he cannot put himself in an environment that involves drinking in public.

“I know that sounds like a curfew but surely he must know now he cannot trust himself. Surely it has to be on his mind now.

“But I think Eddie will do his homework here and work closely with Gloucester to find out exactly what went on.

“He will know what went on, make his own decision and I think he will make the right one in keeping Cipriani in the squad.”

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