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Page last updated at 20:09 GMT, Thursday, 21 May 2009 21:09 UK

Cipriani defends form after axe

Danny Cipriani
Cipriani hopes Martin Johnson will think again about his talents

Wasps fly-half Danny Cipriani feels he deserved a place on England's tour of Argentina but says he is determined to impress with the second-string Saxons.

The 21-year-old, still on stand-by for the Lions tour, has overcome a serious ankle injury but was omitted by England boss Martin Johnson on grounds of form.

"I thought my form was good enough in the last part of the season," he said.

"But you have to back the coach's decision and go out with the Saxons and put your marker down."

Cipriani has endured a troubled season after recovering from fracturing and dislocating his ankle and now appears to be down to fifth in the pecking order for England's number 10 jersey.


Wasps finished seventh in the Guinness Premiership table and were disappointing in the Heineken Cup, while Cipriani was also involved in a training ground bust-up with team-mate Josh Lewsey.

Despite missing out on the summer Test series against Argentina, Cipriani can show off his skills as the Saxons squad defend their Churchill Cup crown in Denver, Colorado, with the first game against Argentina Jaguars on 6 June.

"It should be a successful tour. I've just got to go out and do all the things (Martin Johnson) wants me to do," Cipriani told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"If I do all that then hopefully I can push my way into the England side and he will see that I'm ready to put on the England shirt."

In the injury-enforced absence of Jonny Wilkinson and Toby Flood, uncapped Leicester fly-half Sam Vesty and Brive's Andy Goode were selected ahead of Cipriani for the senior squad.

He also had to endure being overlooked for the entire Six Nations campaign.

"It's a massive inspiration to get up that ranking," he added. "I've got that burning desire do get to the top level in rugby and represent my country again."

Johnson explains Cipriani omission

Having delayed an operation to remove a metal pin from his ankle after suffering a fractured dislocation a year ago, Cipriani is hoping his fortune can soon turn around.

"Training and working hard has always been one of my positives and something I've strived on," he said.

"I'm just looking forward to a clean slate - playing with the Saxons, getting my pin out, putting a line under the season and then next season I can come back as a completely different player."

Still on the stand-by list for the Lions tour in South Africa, with fly-halves Stephen Jones and Ronan O'Gara in the squad, Cipriani said: "You don't want to wish injury upon anybody but that's why I'm keeping myself fit and ready for the Saxons."

England play the Barbarians at Twickenham on 30 May, Argentina at Old Trafford on 6 June followed by a return Test in Salta a week later.

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see also
Johnson defends Cipriani omission
19 May 09 |  English
England omit Cipriani from squad
19 May 09 |  English
Jeremy Guscott column
19 May 09 |  English
Cipriani resigned to England snub
17 May 09 |  Rugby Union
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
Cipriani back in Lions contention
29 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Cipriani signs new Wasps contract
06 Mar 09 |  London Wasps
Cipriani floored in training row
08 Oct 08 |  London Wasps
Cipriani accepts blame for defeat
22 Nov 08 |  English
Cipriani returns to England squad
21 Oct 08 |  English
Cipriani ruled out for six months
19 May 08 |  English

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