Cipriani ready to return home if given the call

Barbarians 11 Australia 60

Twickenham

Is it pandering to celebrity to begin a report on this not particularly engrossing chapter in the Barbarians' 121-year history with a mention of Danny Cipriani? Well, the Baa-Baas' latter-day existence depends on throwing together well-known players who, in this instance, were trounced by an Australian team warming up for their match against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday. Let us trust the 52,000 souls who pitched up to see it knew what they were letting themselves in for.

Cipriani let it be known he would return to England like a shot if the national team said they wanted him. Having kicked a couple of penalties, tossed a couple of lackadaisical passes, made some tackles and generally revelled in the Barbarians' style of rugby, Cipriani was asked whether he might come home even if an England coach did not give him the green light.

"I really am just looking forward to focusing on playing for the Melbourne Rebels next year," Cipriani said. "Come May, I'll have a decision to make. I've heard from clubs in London and some in the south west, and some from up north actually."

Barbarians coach Graham Henry said Cipriani should be given "a bit of space and see how he responds. Jumping on him and saying he can't do this, he can't do that, he won't do this, that's the very reason he won't play for England."

Playing behind a more serious pack, the erstwhile Wallaby wing, James O'Connor, looked a fine prospect at fly-half as he covered for the injured Quade Cooper. The baby-faced 21-year-old, nicknamed "Rabbit", found holes at will, with speed off the mark, intuitive show-and-go and a self-confidence greater even than Cipriani's.

David Pocock, the Wallaby captain while James Horwill was on the bench, was not required to exert his customary prowess at the breakdown as the Barbarians often missed the first-up tackle. When Horwill, a second-rower, came on in the second half, he had a try from Stephen Moore's front-of-line-out peel within 30 seconds and another just nine minutes later. The wings Digby Ioane and Lachie Turner also went over twice each and Rob Horne and Radiko Samo completed the Wallabies' list of try-scorers.

Sam Tomkins, the 22-year-old Wigan rugby leaguer, rounded off his one-off dip of the toe into union waters with a try at the death. If there was not a great deal of point to it all, that was the point. Or does rugby only matter now when it is about prizes and pots of gold?

Scorers: Barbarians: Try Tomkins Penalties Cipriani 2. Australia: Tries Ioane 2, Turner 2, Horwill 2, Horne, Samo; Penalty O'Connor; Drop-goal O'Connor Conversions O'Connor 7.

Barbarians I Toeava; S Tomkins, R Fruean, S Mortlock, B Habana (S Rabeni, 41); D Cipriani, P Stringer (N Kenatale, 41); E Guinazu (S Perugini, 41), K Mealamu (A Strauss, 41), S Marconnet, S Shaw (M Bortolami, 41), V Matfield (capt), J Kaino (J White , 41), M Bergamasco, A Thomson.

Australia XV: A Ashley-Cooper; L Turner, R Horne, B Barnes (B Tapuai, 37), D Ioane; J O'Connor, W Genia (N Phipps, 53); J Slipper, T Polota-Nau (S Moore, 50), S Ma'afu (B Alexander, 50), R Simmons, N Sharpe (J Horwill, 50), S Higginbotham, D Pocock (capt) (M Hodgson, 51), D Dennis (R Samo, 50).

Referee R Poite (France).

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
News
Budapest, 1989. Sleepware and panties.
newsDavid Hlynsky's images of Soviet Union shop windows shine a light on our consumerist culture
Arts and Entertainment
Eleanor Catton has hit back after being accused of 'treachery' for criticising the government.
books
News
In humans, the ability to regulate the expression of genes through thoughts alone could open up an entirely new avenue for medicine.
science
News
Williams says: 'The reason I got jobs was because they would blow the budget on the big guys - but they only had to pay me the price of a cup of tea'
arts + ents
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee