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Page last updated at 20:26 GMT, Thursday, 14 May 2009 21:26 UK

Cipriani delays op to remove pin

Danny Cipriani is tended by medical staff after suffering the injury
Cipriani seriously injured his right ankle against Bath in May 2008

Danny Cipriani has delayed having an operation to remove a metal pin from his ankle in order to be available for England and the Lions this summer.

The 21-year-old Wasps fly-half had the three-inch pin put in after suffering a fractured dislocation a year ago.

He has slowly returned to form during the season and does not want to harm his chances of an international recall.

"I am on standby for the Lions and it is great but I am just thinking of getting selected for England," he said.

The Lions travel to South Africa at the end of the month, with their first match on the 30 May, while England play the Barbarians on the same day, before two Tests against Argentina.

It was a difficult season at first but in the last 10-12 games myself and the club were coming into form

Wasps fly-half Danny Cipriani

"I am hungry every time England comes around," added Cipriani. "I am hungry every time to put on that England rose. That is what drove me. That is what made me choose rugby when I was young. That is the fire in the belly that I have.

"Going to Argentina will be a ferocious test but England have come a long way since the autumn.

"After the tours I will decide when I will take the pin out, but it will be the end of June when everyone is back.

"I will still get a good summer if I do it that way."

Cipriani recovered quicker than expected from what was a serious injury but although he played for England in the autumn internationals he struggled to find the dazzling form which had seen him rocket through the ranks.

He was subsequently dropped and was not involved at all during the Six Nations, but with Toby Flood out of action for six months with a ruptured Achilles, Cipriani is determined to force his way back into the England fold.

There have been suggestions he has fallen out of favour with the England coaching staff as manager Martin Johnson turned first to Andy Goode and then Flood at fly-half for the Six Nations.

But Cipriani said: "I get on well with (attack coach) Brian Smith. He is a great coach. He did so well with London Irish and look where they are now.

606: DEBATE

"Johnno is a great guy and someone I really look up to. What he has done with England over the last few months has been fantastic.

"I would just love to be involved and learn from the senior coaches.

"It was a difficult season at first but in the last 10-12 games myself and the club were coming into form. We just weren't in the play-offs to be able to continue that form.

"I realised I enjoyed my last 10-12 games and when you play with a smile on your face the performances come."



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see also
Cipriani eyes injury-free summer
13 May 09 |  London Wasps
Cipriani will be back - Edwards
22 Apr 09 |  Rugby Union
Cipriani targets October return
31 Aug 08 |  English
Six Nations Young Guns - Danny Cipriani
27 Jan 08 |  Rugby Union


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