New Zealand v England: I’ve improved on tour, says Danny Cipriani

New Zealand v England: Danny Cipriani believes he has improved during the Red Rose's summer tour

By Gareth Llewellyn
England and Sale Sharks star Danny Cipriani

Danny Cipriani believes he has improved as a player on England’s tour of New Zealand after landing three of four conversion attempts against Crusaders on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old outside-half has grasped the opportunity to return to international rugby after a difficult six years, but at the start of the season he would have expected to be on holiday this month rather than back in England contention.

I’ve learnt an awful lot from the coaches and I played with a confidence against the Crusaders that I can learn from

Danny Cipriani

A composed performance against a weakened Crusaders side—after a brief cameo in the first Test against the All Blacks in Dunedin—proved that he can control a game for England and can be a reliable option for England now he has found focus on his game.

“The short-term goal of everyone in that [mid-week] squad is to try to get into the Saturday team, but everyone in the squad is going to come away from this tour knowing that they’ve learnt a lot and improved as a player—I certainly feel like I have,” Cipriani said after England’s 38-7 win in Christchurch.

“I’ve learnt an awful lot from the coaches and I played with a confidence against the Crusaders that I can learn from.

“The confidence is what the coaches are instilling in us and that’s put me in good stead for next season and to have a big pre-season.”

With England boasting four outside-halves from the Aviva Premiership’s top four clubs, Cipriani’s elevation from no-hoper to the fringes has been aided by injuries to Bath’s George Ford and the unavailability of first-choice 10 Owen Farrell.

And he could win his ninth cap on Saturday if he again provides cover for Leicester’s Freddie Burns, who starts after Farrell was ruled out with a knee injury.

After a successful reintegration into the England fold, Cipriani believes that they are developing something to be proud of under the direction of head coach Stuart Lancaster.

“England are developing something great, just with the DNA and culture that’s been provided,” he added.

“You can see from the performances in the first and second Test that England are going in the right direction and everyone can be proud of what’s going on so far.”

MORE:

MORE: Have your say on Facebook

MORE: The latest football news

MORE: The latest tennis news

The Sport Review
Shanghai Masters 2017: Rampant Roger Federer downs Rafael Nadal for 94th career title
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 40 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 25 footballers’ cars: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid players feature
The Sport Review
Top 20 Nigerian footballers in Premier League: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Arsenal player wages 2017: Do you know how much Xhaka, Ozil and Coquelin earn each week?
The Sport Review
Joey Barton predicts where Chelsea will finish this season
The Sport Review
Arsenal make final decision about Mesut Ozil’s future – report
The Sport Review
Length of Chelsea star Victor Moses’ injury lay-off confirmed – report