Paparazzi's midnight snap costs rugby prodigy his England place
Friday 07 March 2008
For Danny Cipriani, tomorrow afternoon should have been the high point of his fledgling rugby career. At just 20 years old he was to make his first start for his country as England took on Scotland in the Six Nations Championship.
But come 3.15pm, Cipriani will be nowhere near Edinburgh's Murrayfield stadium and the Calcutta Cup tie. Instead, the full-back will be at Loftus Road with his club, Wasps, for their game with Harlequins. For the rising star of English rugby was unceremoniously dumped from the squad after he was pictured leaving a London nightclub in the early hours of yesterday.
In visiting the Isis club in Dover Street, Mayfair, Cipriani is thought to have broken strict guidelines which insist that players agree to abide by certain rules of behaviour ahead of matches. The England head coach, Brian Ashton said: "I have taken the decision regarding Danny and the matter is now closed. I will keep an open mind on selecting him for future games."
Cipriani's side of the story is that he was merely in the nightclub to drop off tickets to Saturday's match to friends, that he wasn't drinking alcohol and that no sooner had he arrived, he was gone again.
Immediately after the England team management's announcement, Shaun Edwards and Lawrence Dallaglio, Cipriani's manager and team-mate repectively at Wasps, rallied behind him. They admitted he had been "naive", but insisted that the decision was an "over-reaction" and said that he was "devastated".
It is not the first time that Cipriani has seen his name in the headlines for the wrong reasons. At the tail end of last year the red-tops were abuzz with news of the rugby wonderkid's budding relationship with Monica Irimia, the half of the Transylvanian-born pop duo The Cheeky Girls that isn't dating the Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik.
A short while later their relationship appeared to be over when the News of the World revealed that Cipriani had spent the night in a hotel with a model named Larissa Summers, who duly detailed their encounter. But worse was to come. The same newspaper revealed that Larissa was once a man named Darren. Cipriani's Wasps team-mate Simon Shaw revealed he was now known in the dressing room as "Danny Cipriani Who Slept With A Man".
Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax
Paul Scholes: Play-acting mystifies me. I was taught not to show pain
Phil Hughes dead: List of players who have tragically died on the cricket pitch
Nani transfer: No future for winger at Sporting Lisbon as club cannot afford his wages when loan deal with Manchester United runs out
This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
Phillip Hughes death: UK company Masuri say Australian opener was wearing 'outdated helmet'
- 1 Shia LaBeouf claims he was raped during #IAMSORRY art installation performance
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Sarah Vine criticises lesbian mother Jack Monroe: 'If she was unsure about her sexuality, she should have taken greater precautions'