Rugby Union

Danny Cipriani ready for Munster challenge in European Champions Cup

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Danny Cipriani is relishing the opportunity to take on some of Europe's biggest stars in this year's European Champions Cup, which kicks off for Sale when his side take on Irish giants Munster on Saturday.

The Sharks have made a shaky start to the season, currently sitting 10th in the Aviva Premiership table, yet Cipriani has been credited for putting in good performances, even if his team haven't been.

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He's hoping these performances can help him earn a spot in Stuart Lancaster's England squad for the upcoming Autumn Internationals.

Sale have been stuck in a tough Pool One alongside Saracens, Munster and Clermont, and are odds on to not make it past the group stages. However, the prospect excites the former Wasps No.10.

The Sale fly-half told Balding: "We’re looking forward to playing against the European Champions of the past.

“It’s a pretty tough group, everyone predicts they’re going to steamroller us, it’s quite good to be the underdog, and often when you’re the underdog you have something to fight for."

The former Melbourne Rebel has never been shy of the spotlight and is no stranger to controversy, which has at times limited his opportunities to play for England.

But, the 26-year-old says these experiences are behind him and he is ready to fight off competition from Owen Farrell, Freddie Burns, George Ford and Stephen Myler for a spot in Lancaster's 24 man squad.

"I’m looking forward to moving forward and changing," Cipriani added, "You have got to be a professional 24 hours a day. I started working about 18 months ago with my mentor, that’s something that we live by, your daily habits and how you can change those things around.

"I’m only 26 and I have these experiences behind me and I’ve learnt from a lot of them, I’m doing whatever I can to put myself in the best position to represent my country.”

The Englishman, who has eight caps for the international side, appeared in two of the three tests against New Zealand earlier this summer, and put in the kind of performances that have had to make Lancaster take notice.

Cipriani is in the final year of his contract with the Sharks, who have only two wins from six games this term, conceding 18 tries already this season.

However, the former Whitgift pupil will be hoping he has shown enough quality in these game to warrant a place in the England squad.

Danny Cipriani was speaking ahead of his appearance on The Clare Balding Show which airs Thursday 16th October at 10:15pm on BT Sport 1.

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Topics:
Rugby Union
Aviva Premiership
Danny Cipriani
Sale Sharks
Heineken Cup

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