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Danny Cipriani determined to stay focused on keeping England place

The Guardian logo The Guardian 10/08/2018 Gerard Meagher
Danny Cipriani is preparing for his first season with Gloucester, having turned down a number of lucrative offers to move abroad and stay in the Premiership. © Getty Images Danny Cipriani is preparing for his first season with Gloucester, having turned down a number of lucrative offers to move abroad and stay in the Premiership.

Danny Cipriani is hoping a summer surfing trip to Malibu will help him to retain his place in the England side through to the Rugby World Cup in Japan next year, after spending the best part of a decade trying to win it back.

Cipriani is the man in possession of the England No 10 jersey, having made his first Test start for 10 years in the third Test against South Africa in June, laying on the decisive try for Jonny May with a delightful crossfield kick.

He was also called into Eddie Jones’s pre-season training camp last week and is preparing for his first season with Gloucester, having turned down a number of lucrative offers to move abroad and stay in the Premiership, therefore keeping his World Cup ambitions alive.

Rugby Union - Premiership - Sale Sharks vs Wasps - AJ Bell Stadium, Sale, Britain - April 6, 2018   Wasps' Danny Cipriani looks dejected    Action Images/Craig Brough © Reuters Rugby Union - Premiership - Sale Sharks vs Wasps - AJ Bell Stadium, Sale, Britain - April 6, 2018 Wasps' Danny Cipriani looks dejected Action Images/Craig Brough

The 30-year-old hopes to hit the ground running at Kingsholm, having followed up England’s series defeat in South Africa with a tailor-made training regime in California.

“I went to Malibu and did some training down there. It’s a different type of training. It doesn’t really involve a ball or too much running, but it’s a lot of explosive stuff, a lot of surfing and being out on the water,” he said. “You need time off but you’re only going to get a short pre-season after a tour so you need to make sure you’re in good shape.”

After falling out of favour with England following a breakthrough 2008 campaign, Cipriani moved to Australia but set about winning his place back upon joining Sale in 2012. And having finally done so, he concedes hanging on to it is an altogether different challenge.

Rugby Union - Premiership - Bath Rugby vs Wasps - The Recreation Ground, Bath, Britain - December 29, 2017   Wasps' Danny Cipriani   Action Images/Matthew Childs © Reuters Rugby Union - Premiership - Bath Rugby vs Wasps - The Recreation Ground, Bath, Britain - December 29, 2017 Wasps' Danny Cipriani Action Images/Matthew Childs

“You’ve seen me for the last six seasons – I’ve been hungry and my focus hasn’t changed at all,” he said. “Is it dangerous to have got something tangible? Is it better to be in the chasing pack, or is it better to be in the pack, to try to go forward?

“My philosophy hasn’t changed; I’m trying to become a better rugby player and I’m in the right place to keep learning and play well. I’ve got back in, right now I’m in there and I’ve got to do everything I can to stay there.

“I’ve trained myself over the last six years to focus on training tomorrow and focus on what’s happening in the next week. I take the view that I have to keep performing in every single game to have even a chance of reaching that end goal.”

Watch: Cipriani proud of England win (Provided by Sky Sports)


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