Danny Cipriani: England 'conservative' on Sale fly-half

Danny Cipriani
Cipriani did not miss a kick when Sale played Munster in the European Champions Cup, scoring 16 points

England should have "taken the risk" and included Danny Cipriani in their squad for the autumn internationals, according to Sale boss Steve Diamond.

Sharks number 10 Cipriani missed out on a place in Stuart Lancaster's squad, with Owen Farrell, George Ford and Stephen Myler all selected instead.

Cipriani, 26, played two Tests during England's summer tour of New Zealand.

"I feel that the England coaches have been a little bit conservative," Diamond told BBC Radio Manchester.

"They've not taken the risk of having Danny and I think it's their loss."

BBC Sport rugby union analyst Jeremy Guscott
"It is widely thought that Freddie Burns and Danny Cipriani were competing with Stephen Myler for the third berth in the squad. Myler may lack the pyrotechnics with ball in hand of the two men on the outside of the 33-man squad, but his kicking is very solid, he appears to be fairly unflappable as player, he can execute tactics and strategy effectively, does all the basics well and he's not a huge risk-taker."
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Speaking on Rugby Union Extra, director of rugby Diamond continued: "Having said that, I think the door is still open to him. There is a long way to go before the World Cup in 12 months' time.

"With injuries and lack of form, which does happen, he does still stand a chance - what he is doing is remaining positive and we'll see where the future takes us."

A former fly-half at Wasps and Melbourne Rebels, Cipriani ended a six-year absence from international rugby when he featured against world champions New Zealand in June.

Danny Cipriani
Cipriani's appearances against New Zealand in the summer were his first at international level since 2008

But Sale have since had an indifferent start to the new season, winning just twice so far in the Premiership - although Cipriani did not miss a kick as Sharks lost 27-26 to a last-minute drop-goal against Munster in their European Champions Cup opener.

Lancaster has already said he will be watching the Sale-Clermont game this weekend in case of any further injuries to the squad.

"He's delivered on the England tour, and he's turned up in three or four games this year where the team have performed really well," added Diamond. "Against Munster on Saturday, he couldn't have done any better than he did.

"To not get selected is hard for us to take. Stephen Myler is a very good player in the Premiership, he's very consistent, but does he have the flair and ability of Danny Cipriani behind a dominant pack? The answer is no."