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Page last updated at 11:35 GMT, Tuesday, 19 May 2009 12:35 UK

Jeremy Guscott column

Jeremy Guscott

Former Bath, England and Lions centre

Danny Cipriani
Cipriani has played the entire season with a three-inch pin in his ankle

In my view Danny Cipriani should stay at home this summer and get himself in the best possible shape for the start of next season.

He has played the entire season with a three-inch pin in his ankle after he was seriously injured against Bath in May 2008 and has delayed having an operation to remove it in order to be available for England and the Lions, should he be required.

But if the operation he will have to have to remove that pin in any way delays his start to next season, then surely it should be removed now?

Why be on standby for the Lions? At his age he could still go on at least another two Lions tours.

Why even be up for selection to tour Argentina or take part in the Churchill Cup? As it turns out he will be doing the latter after being picked for the second-string Saxons squad.

606: DEBATE
MV

We know what this kid is capable of doing on the rugby field - he just needs to start doing it again.

I really can't see the advantage of taking Cipriani on any tour when he could be getting himself in the shape of his life ready to reboot his career and prove to doubters that he can fulfil his potential.

I understand his massive desire to be involved in a Lions tour or play for his country because it's the same for all players - you want to be out there playing at the highest level.

He is very keen to tour because he wants to prove he is capable of running a game and showing the maturity expected from an international fly-half.

Sam Vesty
Leicester's Sam Vesty has been considered a better choice to tour with England to Argentina

Everyone knows he has the potential and ability to do virtually anything asked of him on a rugby field but it appears that sometimes his attitude in training, and his antics off the field, might be causing some consternation to the England coaching hierarchy.

His performances for England during the autumn internationals and for Wasps around the same time were so far below the standards he had already set that he looked like a teenage rookie, rather than England's fly-half.

Andy Goode and then Toby Flood overtook him in the rankings as England's number 10 and now Leicester's Sam Vesty has been considered a better choice to tour with England to Argentina.

Cipriani needs to sort himself out and his advisers and medical support should be telling him to chill out, sort the ankle out once and for all and start training to get a head start on his rivals.

The best way that he can shake any reservations coaches, players and supporters may have is by getting on the field 100% fit and showing everyone what he is capable of doing.

That means he should have started by having the operation, getting through rehab and starting to train hard - that way he would be on fire at the beginning of the season when everyone else is tired from touring.



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see also
England omit Cipriani from squad
19 May 09 |  English
Cipriani delays op to remove pin
14 May 09 |  London Wasps
Cipriani eyes injury-free summer
13 May 09 |  London Wasps
Cipriani will be back - Edwards
22 Apr 09 |  Rugby Union
Jeremy Guscott column
08 May 09 |  English
Jeremy Guscott column
05 May 09 |  Rugby Union


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