Danny Cipriani's omission from England squad surprises South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus

Danny Cipriani was left out of England squad for autumn internationals
Danny Cipriani was left out of England squad for autumn internationals

South Africa head coach Rassie Erasmus admitted that he was surprised by Danny Cipriani's omission from England's autumn international squad.

The two teams will line-up against each other on 3rd November at Twickenham Stadium for the first time since the summer series that saw the Boks register a 2-1 series victory.

Gloucester fly-half Cipriani was overlooked by Jones despite his impressive form at the domestic level that saw them win the Premiership Player of the Month in September with the England boss preferring Owen Farrell and George Ford as his contenders for number 10 jersey.

The 30-year-old is currently serving a three-week ban following a high tackle during his side's Champions Cup clash against Munster and will be free to resume playing from 16th November.

"Just because he's a great talent, I was surprised he's not involved," said Erasmus.

"But in terms of the way Eddie (Jones) is building his squad, he has his ducks in a row in terms of who is his second and third choice and how he mixes and matches them.

"It would be foolish for me to comment on selection, not being in their camp. I just know Danny is a talented player and has certainly got a bag full of tricks."

Erasmus believes England are still a force to reckon without Cipriani and is also wary of the threat possessed by Manu Tuilagi, whose last international start came in 2014.

"Farrell can do it and there are so many guys in the English team that can make something out of nothing.

"It's difficult to prepare against him (Cipriani) but I wouldn't say England are going to be easier to prepare for without him.

"I coached Muster and we played against him - he's [Tuilagi] definitely a threat.

"He brings aggression, directness, physicality and intimidation into the England team.

"Most of our players are used to playing against guys like that in Super Rugby. You have to handle it on the day. It will be a challenge."


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