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".
Robin van Persie to Fenerbahce: Manchester United striker 'agrees to personal terms' with Turkish side
Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs posts bizarre video of his Miami holiday being invaded by an iguana
Football kits 2015/16: The good, the bad and the downright worst new shirts from around the world for next season
Arturo Vidal to Real Madrid: Transfer news live - Sergio Ramos to Manchester United, Lukas Podolski to leave Arsenal
Chelsea 2015/16 home shirt leaked again as new picture appears online
- 1 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 2 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 3 Van driver who comforted Clark Carlisle and called 999 after suicide attempt dies age 24
- 4 James Blunt was special guest on the highest-rating Top Gear episode ever
- 5 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture