sport

England deny Cipriani reports

England have denied reports that Stuart Lancaster asked Sale to rest Danny Cipriani for their final game of the season.

Cipriani was omitted from Sale's squad for Saturday's 22-20 loss at London Irish and it was suggested that Lancaster wanted to avoid any risk to the fly-half ahead of the looming summer tour to New Zealand.

"It's completely inaccurate to suggest Stuart Lancaster asked Sale Sharks to rest Danny Cipriani from the match," an England spokesperson said.

"Stuart has spent the last few weeks visiting all the directors of rugby/head coaches, including Steve Diamond, as part of a positive working relationship with the Premiership clubs, but he did not ask for Danny to be given this weekend off."

Cipriani won the last of his seven caps in 2008 only to lose his way amid concerns over his attitude and celebrity lifestyle.

However, he has repaired his reputation at Sale this season with his form key to their sixth-place finish in the Premiership just 12 months after flirting with relegation.