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By Gary Fitzgerald
EDDIE Jones must start Danny Cipriani in South Africa after giving him his first taste of international rugby for nearly three years, says Lawrence Dallaglio.
Dallaglio praises the England boss for finally selecting the playmaker, but the World Cup-winner insists that now Jones has opened the door again to the 30-year-old star, it is imperative he gives him the chance to show what he can do at No.10 against the Springboks.
Cipriani, who is joining Gloucester from Wasps, came off the bench to play full-back against the Barbarians last Sunday but Dallaglio, above, claims: “Danny has played so well that it has finally become impossible for Eddie to ignore him. Eddie will now be the judge who decides whether to give him a start in South Africa. But, surely, now that he has picked him, for me Danny simply has to start one of the three Tests.
“You will have Owen Farrell, George Ford and Danny Cipriani out there. For me they are easily the best three 10s in English rugby. Jones prefers Faz at centre when Ford is fit and playing so England will need another fly-half pushing Ford for the place and in the 22 come the opening game of the World Cup.
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“Danny’s fantastic skill-set would give England a different dimension and another option if required in Japan.
“But for Danny to get there he needs the opportunity to impress and see what he can do. So why not play him in one of the Springboks Test, play him alongside Farrell?”
Dallaglio has been impressed by Cipriani’s attitude after working his way back to the top.
He added: “It’s a massive opportunity for Cips and one he has to take with both hands after all this time working hard and trying to play his way back onto the internationals stage.
“Danny has been picked on form alone. He has been the best attacking 10 in the country this season, and has been lighting up the Premiership with his vision and ability to create openings for team-mates.
“Eddie Jones has gone back on one of his beliefs that Cips may not be able to fit into the squad.
“Not as a player but the ability to fit into the special team and squad environment he wanted to build with England.
“It’s very difficult to label someone unless you have spent time training and working with them, but Danny has played so well for Wasps that it has finally become impossible for Eddie to ignore him.”
Dallaglio added: “Danny looked to be heading to one of the big French clubs who were queuing up to sign him but now that Eddie has picked him he’s signed a two-year deal with Gloucester.
“The rules are pretty clear. If you want to be playing for England you have to be playing for an English club and he is putting the opportunity to play for England ahead of the big money over in France, and that is a good thing for a player to show.
“Jones would love to see Cipriani shine in South Africa. He needs a big lift from his players in terms of results and displays because England have had a reality check with four defeats on the bounce.
“Eddie is resting a few of the regular guys but he wants to do what no England team has done and that’s to win a three-Test series over there.”
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