Danny Cipriani to make first England start for 10 years in third Test (Details)


Danny Cipriani looks on during the England training session at Kings Park Stadium on June 20, 2018 in Durban, South Africa.

© David Rogers/
Danny Cipriani looks on during the England training session at Kings Park Stadium on June 20, 2018 in Durban, South Africa.

Danny Cipriani will make his first England start for 10 years in Saturday’s third Test against South Africa. The fly-half has been picked ahead of George Ford with the visitors already 2-0 down in the series in a side containing a total of four changes to the team beaten 23-12 in Bloemfontein last weekend.

With Billy Vunipola injured and Mako Vunipola having returned home for the birth of his first child, Nathan Hughes and Joe Marler have both been promoted to the starting lineup with Chris Robshaw replacing the indisposed Brad Shields. The standout selection, however, is the 30-year-old Cipriani, set to pull on the white No 10 jersey for the first time since November 2008.

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Danny Cipriani has not started for England since November 2008.

© PA
Danny Cipriani has not started for England since November 2008.

A huge amount of water has passed under the bridge since Cipriani’s last start for his country, against the Springboks at Twickenham during Martin Johnson’s tenure as England manager. His consistent form for Wasps over the past two seasons, however, has persuaded Eddie Jones to give him this opportunity to revive his Test career and push for a place in next year’s World Cup squad.

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Cipriani, who will be joining Gloucester this summer following spells at Wasps (twice), Melbourne Rebels and Sale Sharks, will be partnered at scrum-half by Ben Youngs with the captain Owen Farrell again at inside-centre. With Shields suffering from illness, Robshaw has reclaimed his place on the blindside flank while the uncapped Jonny Hill is among five Exeter Chiefs forwards on the bench.

Daly; May, Slade, Farrell (capt), Brown; Cipriani, Youngs; Marler, George, Sinckler, Itoje, Launchbury, Shields, T Curry, Hughes.

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Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Hepburn, Williams, Hill, Wilson, Simmonds, Spencer, Solomona.

Player ratings: How England fared in ‘horror movie’ game against Springboks (Read Sport)

England Player Ratings: South Africa (A): England have lost their summer series against South Africa after just two games following a dismal performance in a 23-12 defeat in Bloemfontein.Like in the first match, England stormed into an early lead with tries from Mike Brown and Jonny May but failed to score for the remainder of the game.Duane Vermeulen stormed through the English defence from close range to get the Boks’s first score and a penalty from Handre Pollard meant the home side had a one-point advantage going into the break.Greater accuracy and discipline in second half ensured South Africa remained in control after the break, a penalty try and a further three points via Pollard’s boot ensured the victory.South Africa seem reborn under new head coach Rassie Eramus and their new captain, Siya Kolisi and will be looking for a series whitewash next Saturday in Cape Town after taking a 2-0 lead in the series. Vermeulen was a constant threat with ball in hand and scrum half Faf De Klerk seemed to be everywhere on the pitch, making the most of poor English discipline.For Eddie Jones’s men, it was their fifth consecutive Test Match defeat in a row. A disappointing 42-39 defeat in the first game in Johannesburg and a torrid display here in the second, major changes seem to be needed to address obvious problems in player attitude, too many missed tackles and game management.Here is how I rated the England players…

England Player Ratings: South Africa (A)


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