Poor old Danny Cipriani. We’ve all been there. Got a new girlfriend, gone public, been seen holding hands, told ourselves how great it is all going to be, even though they don’t quite look at us with the longing we feel they should. Slowly it starts to unravel, and then the dawning realisation that they aren’t quite over their ex starts to grow. The whispers roll around our head: ‘Lancaster still loves Farrell’. His absence seems only to have made the heart grow fonder. The chance to impress fully hasn’t really ever been afforded Danny. A few minutes ‘out of position’ against Scotland and you get the distinct impression a conversation in which the phrase ‘Can we just be friends?’ is in the not too distant future.
My previous article details my affection for DC because of the path he has taken. But, relationship metaphors to one side, the thing that rankles most with the discerning rugby public is that Cipriani hasn’t really been given a fair crack of the whip. George Ford is a very good young player but I, and it seems many who know the game better, see Cipriani as equally good. Yet they haven’t been given an equal chance to impress. I understand Lancaster wants to show faith and ownership of the shirt, but there’s a flip side. This autumn’s World Cup could well be about having two or three players in each position. There might be a need to turn to a player like Danny Cipriani in a big match situation. What do England know about him if they don’t test him in an arena like the Six Nations? For me, it’s been an opportunity wasted.
You were sat up in the coaches’ box at Twickenham. I was on the sideline watching others run around. Our eyes briefly met. You left before I had a chance to speak to you. Missed connection.
Poor old Danny.
Sam Roberts © 2015. (Text only). All Rights Reserved.