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Page last updated at 15:46 GMT, Tuesday, 8 July 2008 16:46 UK

Cipriani eager to regain fitness

Danny Cipriani hopes to be back from his broken ankle in November
Cipriani says he should make a full recovery from his injury

England fly-half Danny Cipriani says he is relishing the challenge of getting back to fitness as he recovers from a fractured dislocated ankle.

The 20-year-old was injured playing for Wasps in May and has been helped in his fitness battle by Welsh legend Ieuan Evans, who had a similar injury.

"I've no doubt I'll be back as strong and as fit - if not faster - than I was before," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"Training started three days ago. It'll be hard but I can't wait to get going."

Cipriani's impressive season was brought to a juddering halt by the sickening injury, which also ruled him out of England's summer tour of New Zealand.

But he said club and country were being very restrained about his comeback.

606: DEBATE
"November or December is when I'd like to be playing, but there's no pressure from England or Wasps," he said.

"They want me to be back as quick as I was, which is nice."

Wasps coach Shaun Edwards, who is also Wales defence coach, said the support of Evans had been invaluable in Cipriani's recovery.

"Ieuan has become a bit of a mentor for Danny," Edwards said.

"He had a very similar injury and Ieuan was one who played the game who had great speed, similar to Danny and it helped him speaking to Ieuan Evans.

"Ieuan's an all-time great of British Isles rugby and to get that reassurance from Ieuan that Danny could come back just as quick as he was before - as Ieuan did - was very reassuring for Danny."

Evans, 44, won 72 caps for Wales and another seven for the British and Irish Lions, and could have achieved even more in his career had he not suffered two serious shoulder injuries and an ankle injury similar to Cipriani's.

And Edwards said he was sure Cipriani would learn from Evans's example.

"It was a bad injury, especially for a back," he said.

"Danny's showed his resilience already and he will show it even more going forward, he's a dedicated young lad."




see also
Cipriani targets November return
28 Jun 08 |  Rugby Union


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