Popular Posts

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cipriani targets England return

Danny Cipriani relished his first taste of Twickenham for three years, despite the Barbarians' 60-11 defeat to Australia, and set his sights on returning with England.

Cipriani's last appearance at Twickenham was with England in the autumn of 2008, after which he was cast into the international wilderness by Martin Johnson. The Barbarians were overwhelmed by Australia, who ran in eight tries, leaving Cipriani with little chance to shine at fly-half.

But the 24-year-old impressed the Barbarians' World Cup-winning coach Graham Henry during the week and reiterated his desire to break back into the England fold. He said: "I loved it, running out at Twickenham, hearing that roar. It is probably the best stadium in the world in terms of rugby and I have massive ambitions to be back here playing."

Australia scored 42 second-half points with Digby Ioane, Lachie Turner and James Horwill all touching down twice. There were tries for Rob Horne and Radike Samo while James O'Connor, Cipriani's new Melbourne Rebels club-mate, kicked 20 points.

The Barbarians' defence was embarrassing but they did give the 51,212 crowd a late cheer with a late consolation try for England rugby league international Sam Tomkins. The Wigan full-back had never played a game of rugby union before in his life but acquitted himself well - despite starting the week not understanding any of the positions.

"When I came in on Tuesday I was so raw I didn't even know what the numbers for each position were," said Tomkins, whose brother Joel has signed for Saracens.

"The boys were saying 'we'll play this off the 12 or the 10' and I didn't even know where those blokes were so that was a bit of a challenge.

Australia coach Robbie Deans described his side's victory as "ideal", one week before the Wallabies tackle Wales in a re-match of the World Cup bronze-medal decider. The Wallabies won that encounter in Auckland and Deans expects to come across a fired-up Welsh side at the Millennium Stadium.

"That is going to be a tough assignment so it was good to have a hit-out," he said. "We expect a lot. We have been reading it, we have been hearing it. They, like us, weren't happy with the way they exited the World Cup.

"Sam (Warburton) was very frustrated not to be involved at the death (after being sent off in the semi-final) and you have got Shane Williams' last fixture. There will be a bit of emotion there."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts