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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 January 2008, 20:41 GMT
Cipriani wants Wilkinson's place
Danny Cipriani
Cipriani's form has earned him plenty of plaudits
Wasps star Danny Cipriani has warned England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson that he is gunning for his Test place.

The England squad joined up on Monday in preparation for their Six Nations opener against Wales on 2 February.

"It's understandable that whenever Jonny has been fit he has started. He's done an amazing job," said Cipriani.

"It's going to be a massive task to oust him - he has done everything in the game - but I'm not coming here as number two."

The 20-year-old Cipriani is seen as one of England's most promising prospects.

Wales coach Warren Gatland recently predicted the fly-half could even become a bigger superstar than Wilkinson.

606: DEBATE

And former England star Lawrence Dallaglio, Cipriani's club captain, said he would pick the youngster at full-back if Wilkinson retains his fly-half spot.

Cipriani would face stiff competition for the full-back jersey from Gloucester's Iain Balshaw and Newcastle's Mathew Tait, who moved to 15 during the World Cup final.

But Dallaglio said: "I don't know what is going through the selectors' minds but people who are playing against England would be a lot happier if Danny Cipriani was not in the team.

"He has got unbelievable pace and has that wonderful kicking ability which you need at international level.

I want to get an England cap and then one day be a regular starter

Danny Cipriani

"At Wasps we were confident enough to play him in front of 85,000 people at full-back in a Heineken Cup final."

Cipriani said he was grateful for the praise but added that he had work to do yet to secure a place in the England team.

"In my eyes I haven't made it yet," said Cipriani. "I want to get an England cap and then one day be a regular starter.

"Jonny has changed the face of rugby by himself. If I can learn from Jonny that will help me."

England boss Brian Ashton had the players at his disposal at Twickenham and they will link up again for international week next Monday when he hopes some of his injury worries have eased.

Wasps winger Paul Sackey is suffering from a suspected case of mumps, while lock Simon Shaw and London Irish scrum-half Peter Richards also have fitness concerns.

Shaw injured his ankle against Munster and is awaiting the results of an MRI scan, though he does not believe the injury to be as bad as first feared.

Richards has seen a specialist after injuring the tendon in his left bicep during London Irish's Heineken Cup win at Treviso.

As a result, Richards' Exiles team-mate Paul Hodgson was called in to join the training session along with Gloucester number eight Luke Narraway and Bath flanker Michael Lipman.



SEE ALSO
England new boys - Danny Cipriani
09 Jan 08 |  Rugby Union
Vainikolo named in England squad
09 Jan 08 |  English
Cipriani ready for toughest test
14 Sep 07 |  English


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