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Page last updated at 11:05 GMT, Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Axed Cipriani starts for Saxons

Disappointed Cipriani hopeful of recall

Danny Cipriani has been named at fly-half for England Saxons' match against Ireland A at Donnybrook on Friday.

The 21-year-old Wasps star was omitted from the senior England side after a run of patchy form.

Cipriani is joined in the second string by another five capped players, including Topsy Ojo on the wing and Nick Abendanon at full-back.

Paul Hodgson is on standby to start at scrum-half if Harry Ellis is needed by the senior squad to replace Danny Care.

I still believe my destiny is to wear the England number 10 shirt

Danny Cipriani
Care turned his ankle training and may not feature against Italy on Saturday.

Ellis featured in the Saxons' friendly against Portugal last week to gain Six Nations fitness after serving a six-week ban for a dangerous tackle on Perpignan's New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter.

Up front, the Saxons feature an all-Harlequins back row in the shape of Will Skinner, Tom Guest and Chris Robshaw.

Jordan Crane and David Paice bring full international experience to the pack.

Cipriani played the first three of England's November internationals after returning from a six-month lay-off with a broken ankle but he was inconsistent and had several kicks charged down, leading to tries.

"If I play well on Friday night then hopefully I would like to be back in the 10 jersey the next week. My destiny is in my own hands," he said.

"I still believe my destiny is to wear the England number 10 shirt and that's what will be. I'm showing the touches that I've got, it's just about getting the consistency.


"I was surprised (to be dropped) and obviously I would prefer to be in the first team, just like any player would."

And Cipriani expressed his wish to see the senior team, and recalled fly-half Andy Goode, perform well against Italy at Twickenham on Saturday.

"Andy has been playing well in France and is a very experienced player," added Cipriani. "Good luck to him and I hope the guys do awesome on Saturday.

"It's the first game of five and hopefully I will get a chance in the latter chance of the Six Nations.

"There's every aspect of my game I want to improve, to get there and really hold down the 10 shirt.

"There are so many aspects to rugby that you can't really hide. As a 10 you need to make sure you are at the forefront and bossing the situation. That's something I'm learning and doing."

England Saxons team: N Abendanon (Bath); T Ojo (London Irish), D Waldouck (Wasps), J Turner-Hall (Harlequins), M Banahan (Bath); D Cipriani (Wasps), H Ellis (Leicester)/P Hodgson (London Irish); M Mullan (Worcester), D Paice (London Irish), D Wilson (Newcastle), J Crane (Leicester), G Skivington (Wasps, captain), C Robshaw (Harlequins), W Skinner (Harlequins), T Guest (Harlequins).

Replacements: R Webber (Wasps), D Cole (Leicester), S Hooper (Bath), P Dowson (Newcastle), P Hodgson (London Irish)/J Simpson (Wasps), S Myler (Northampton), D Strettle (Harlequins).

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see also
England Saxons 66-0 Portugal
30 Jan 09 |  English
Cipriani axed from England team
25 Nov 08 |  English
Nervous wait for England's newest star
30 Jan 09 |  Rugby Union
Worsley receives England call-up
30 Jan 09 |  English
Johnson targets England revival
29 Jan 09 |  English
Ellis to make return with Saxons
21 Jan 09 |  English
Trio released from England squad
27 Jan 09 |  English
Armitage replaces injured Moody
26 Jan 09 |  English

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