Rugby Union

Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond backs Danny Cipriani for England recall

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Football News

Sale boss Steve Diamond insisted Danny Cipriani deserves a place in England's Six Nations squad after the fly-half's superb individual display delivered a hard fought 15-9 Aviva Premiership win for the Sharks against Wasps at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Cipriani was overlooked for England's doomed World Cup campaign by Stuart Lancaster last autumn but is hoping to earn a recall for next month's northern hemisphere showpiece under new head coach Eddie Jones.

And after watching the fly-half kick four penalties and a drop goal in appalling conditions at Salford, Sale director of rugby Diamond said he believed the 28-year-old more than merited a place when Jones comes to name his inaugural squad later this month.

He said: "Danny played really and he's pushed into that potential England squad whenever it is announced. You learn more playing for a club like Sale where it doesn't always go well.

"You have to learn how to develop as a player and Danny has done that over the past two or three years which is why he wants to stay around here for the next couple of years.

"He's a leader by way of his skill sets but he's also a leader by way of his influence. In these conditions he knows his skill isn't always going to win us games. Instead he needs to put us in field positions.

"He has got the full compliment of skills. It's so rare these days but so valuable and he has the full skill set.

"He's more mature as a player and he understands what he has got to do. He has worked really hard on his kicking over the past few weeks and his defence has also come on leaps and bounds and he is a real team player for us."

In sharp contrast to Diamond, disappointed Wasps director of rugby Dai Young was left to bemoan his side's inability to cope with the wet and windy conditions with the visitors slipping to ninth in the table.

"It was obviously disappointing but we made far too many errors," said the Wasps boss, whose side's points came from two Jimmy Gopperth penalties and an Elliot Daly drop goal.

"Given the conditions there were never going to be many scoring opportunities but from our point of view I was really disappointed with our skill sets.

"We made something like 18 handling errors and I have to say that I thought they also wanted it a bit more, so we've got a losing bonus point and that is probably as much as we deserve."

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