sport

Dallaglio: Cipriani worthy

Former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio believes fly-half Danny Cipriani has proved himself worthy of an international recall.

The enigmatic Sale playmaker, 26, last played for England way back in 2008 before off-field problems and a loss of form prompted him to move to the Melbourne Rebels in an attempt to rebuild his career.

Since returning to the Aviva Premiership with the Sharks in 2012, Cipriani has steadily reestablished himself as a leading top-flight stand-off, and Dallaglio believes the time is right for England boss Stuart Lancaster to bring him in from the cold.

The former Wasps back row said: "We have got so many talented number 10s now, and that's a really good position to be in because it's such an important position on the rugby field.

"Danny is a phenomenally talented rugby player - we had him at Wasps for a number of years and he made a sensational England debut against Ireland, probably one of the best I have ever seen from any player.

"Then by his own admission, lost his way a little bit. He turned to Australia, which for a player so young was a strange move.

"But he has certainly earned the right to be talked about again in this class. He has come back, he has got his head down at perhaps an unfashionable club in Sale and has been really instrumental in their rise up the table this season to European rugby.

"I am watching rugby every single day, every single week and I can say with hand on heart that his contribution to Sale's cause has been immense this season in terms of his general play-making and his ability with the boot as well.

"It's a hugely competitive environment - you have got the likes of Owen Farrell, you have got George Ford, you have got Stephen Myler - but I would certainly add Danny Cipriani's name into the mix."

Lancaster will wait until after the Premiership semi-finals before naming his squad for the tour of New Zealand, with the first Test in Auckland on June 7.