Cipriani: There is still a lot more to come from me

Danny Cipriani eager to win over Gloucester fans after surfing through off-season
©PA

Danny Cipriani insists he is ‘hungry and determined’ heading into the new season as he sets his sights on retaining his place in the England squad ahead of the Rugby World Cup next year.

In June, Cipriani lined up for England in the third Test against South Africa, which was his first start for his country in 10 years and he certainly made an impact.

His beautifully weighted kick for Jonny May’s decisive score was the standout moment in England’s only victory over the Springboks and his contribution did not go unnoticed as he was also called up to Eddie Jones’s recent pre-season training camp.

Cipriani is now preparing for life in the Gallagher Premiership with Gloucester and the 30-year-old is hoping to impress at Kingsholm in order to keep his World Cup dream alive.

Speaking exclusively to TRU, Cipriani said: “I have always been hungry. I have always been determined. It is about showing consistency in what you are doing.

“If people see that for the last year, then they see that for the last year, but for the last six seasons, I have been very focused on what I am doing and there is still a lot more to come from me. I am excited to get that out of me over the next couple of seasons, starting with this one.”

Cipriani’s move to Gloucester means it is his third Premiership club in six years after returning from Australia to join Sale Sharks back in 2012.

The versatile back then went to Wasps and was tipped for England selection on a number of occasions during his second stint at the club.

Finally, he returned to the international stage this summer and Cipriani is keen to remain part of Eddie Jones’s plans moving forward.

He added: “It is always an honour to be called up into that England system. I love going on tours and I love being in camp. You learn so much.

“It is the type of environment where you definitely become a better player. Even in the short camp over the three days, I definitely took away a lot of things that I had the fortune of hearing and listening to in meetings so I feel very privileged to be involved.

“There is still a lot to do to stay involved, but right now, my focus is on how we start the season.”

As Cipriani eludes to, his attention is now on his journey in the West Country. He linked up with Johan Ackermann’s side just two weeks ago and after spending part of his summer break going through a training regime in California, he is ready to hit the ground running for the Cherry and Whites.

He said: “They [Gloucester] have created an unbelievable culture here.

“They are a great set of guys and that stems down from how the coaches run the whole system and how they set everything up. I am excited and enjoying it a lot.

“One of the reasons I joined was the potential of the squad. You just have to look at the players that they had and who they were signing.

“I had the luxury of signing pretty late in the season so I got to see who was already coming in so I could make a good assessment! To look at the players we have at our disposal, it is exciting to see what we can do this season.”

Last year saw a vast improvement from Gloucester in Ackermann’s first season in charge. After finishing the 2016/17 campaign in ninth place, Gloucester produced a strong challenge for a top four spot last term and also reached the European Challenge Cup final.

Cipriani admits Gloucester have not set any goals for this season as of yet, but instead, they are focused on bettering themselves which he describes as the ‘Kaizen’ method.

“He [Ackermann] is innovative in the way he thinks about the game,” said Cipriani. “He looks at the game in a unique manner so I can definitely learn some things from him.

“I am excited to pick his brains because you are always at a stage where you want to improve and get better.

“Right now, we have got a focus which is a very good one. It is like a “Kaizen Theory” which is every day we are trying to get better.

“We haven’t really spoken about any goals or anything that we are looking at. As a group, we are trying to learn and become one unit.

“Next week is a huge week for us so we will be able to answer the question about goals better in the next three of four weeks, but right now, everyone is hungry to get better and that is great to see.”

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