Danny Cipriani needs to 'improve form' says Jones


Danny Cipriani’s World Cup hopes are in tatters after the 30-year-old fly half was omitted from Eddie Jones’ 36-man training camp squad.

He was convicted of assault and resisting arrest after an incident in a Jersey nightclub in the summer, but Jones said he would be judged on his rugby. Despite making a brilliant start to the Premiership season for new club Gloucester, he has been left out of the squad. He may now fear that his chances of breaking into the team ahead of next year’s World Cup are over as Jones looks set to place his faith in George Ford.

“The training camp in Bristol is our last opportunity to get the squad together before the internationals so it is vital we put down some parameters, particularly with John Mitchell coming in as defence coach,” said Jones. “It’s a chance to get the players thinking about England and the way we want to play for England.” Cipriani’s omission from the squad therefore looks like a symbolic blow for a player that has made a blistering start to the new campaign.

If you check out the odds from OddsMarket you will see that Gloucester are now fourth in the betting to win the Premiership this season. They sit third in the table after comfortably beating Northampton and Bristol, and securing a strong draw away at Bath. Cipriani has been at the heart of their excellent play, continuing the form that saw him emerge as a key star for Wasps last season. After a decade in the wilderness, he returned to the England team for their victory over South Africa in June – the only Test that Jones’ struggling troops actually managed to win – so the decision to axe him from the training squad is a bit of a shock.

A year ago, England were comfortably second favourites behind the All-Blacks to go on and lift the World Cup. But now they have fallen well behind Ireland in the betting, and if their form does not improve they will really struggle next year. But Jones remains upbeat. “These players have the opportunity to press their chances for selection ahead of the first Test so they will have to be enthusiastic and ready to give their best,” he said.

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