Cipriani called up to England training squad

London (AFP) –


Mercurial fly-half Danny Cipriani earned a place in Eddie Jones's latest England training squad for the World Cup later this year on Friday.

However, despite the 31-year-old Gloucester playmaker having won two player of the season awards last term it is widely believed Jones will take just two fly-halves to Japan -- Owen Farrell and George Ford.

Farrell has one week more of obligatory rest -- for having played in the Premiership final with Saracens.

Cipriani -- who played the last of his thusfar 16 Tests for England against South Africa in June last year -- has already had one dose of World Cup heartbreak when he missed out on the final squad in 2015.

Aside from Cipriani, there were call-ups for Piers Francis, Willi Heinz, the experienced Courtney Lawes and Ollie Thorley.

"They have all come back from their leave in excellent condition and the best I have seen in the time I have been with England," said Jones in a statement regarding the players he dealt with in the first training squad this week.

"Next week we will add some players and be looking to improve our physical conditioning, ability to understand how we want to play the game and start to increase the pressure at training."

Prop Kyle Sinckler -- who was a mainstay of England's Six Nations starting XV -- and his Harlequins team-mate fly-half Marcus Smith will be released from the squad next week.

"We feel it is in their best interests in terms of the World Cup to do that, and we will consider their participation in the squad further down the track," said Jones.

England's final 36-player World Cup training squad will be announced by Jones on July 4 with the definitive 31-player squad for the tournament expected in mid-August.


Forwards: Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins), Tom Dunn (Bath), Charlie Ewels (Bath) Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints), Val Rapava Ruskin (Gloucester), Nick Schonert (Worcester Warriors), Brad Shields (Wasps), Jack Singleton (Worcester Warriors), Sam Underhill (Bath) Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons)

Backs: Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Cipriani (Gloucester), Joe Cokanasiga (Bath), Elliot Daly (Wasps), George Ford (Leicester Tigers), Piers Francis (Northampton Saints), Willi Heinz (Gloucester), Jonathan Joseph (Bath), Jonny May (Leicester Tigers), Ruaridh McConnochie (Bath), Dan Robson (Wasps), Ben Te?o (Worcester Warriors), Ollie Thorley (Gloucester), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Anthony Watson (Bath), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

In for medical treatment: George Kruis (Saracens), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Mako Vunipola (Saracens)