England vs France: Danny Cipriani desperate for England chance to prove Rugby World Cup 2015 credentials

It's hard to see where Sale Sharks man fits in

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The Independent Online

It cannot be easy for Danny Cipriani: a top-of-the-bill act for practically the whole of his compelling and occasionally chaotic rugby career, but no more than a marginal figure as the World Cup selection deadline grows near.

Unless the celebrity midfielder is given a start in his optimum position of outside-half in Paris this weekend, his chances of making the cut will be slim.

“I hope to have another shot,” said the Sale player, whose 31 minutes off the bench as substitute full-back at Twickenham on Saturday night were, through no fault of his own, an object lesson in anonymity. “Of course, I’d have wanted to do more last weekend, but I didn’t get a chance on the ball. I had one touch, that’s all. And you can’t just go searching for it or be selfish about it. You have to do what’s appropriate and that means sticking to the plan and the structure.”

Cipriani is caught in a double bind: George Ford and Owen Farrell are the obvious picks at No 10; Mike Brown and Alex Goode are the main men at full-back, particularly after the latter’s high-class offering against France.

Space could be created for all five players, but the ability of the Exeter youngster Henry Slade, a big hit on his debut at the weekend, to play across the midfield makes this something of a long shot.

Will Cipriani be badgering the coaches for a proper run at No 10? “No,” he replied, “I won’t be saying that. It’s more a case of speaking to them to find out what more I can do, and putting up my hand every day in training.”

The response could not have been more diplomatic, but he must be climbing the walls all the same.