Injured England Number 8 Billy Vunipola was clearly not impressed with the decision to send off Danny Cipriani in the first half of Munster and Gloucester’s European Champions Cup tie in Thomond Park this afternoon.
Referee Alexandre Ruiz said he had no choice but to send the Gloucester playmaker from the field after his shoulder connected with the head of a Munster ball carrier in the 29th minute.
Cipriani apologised as he walked off the pitch, but the decision to send him off effectively decided the game before another ball was kicked.
Vunipola, who is currently sidelined after suffering a fractured left arm against Glasgow, underwent surgery on Tuesday and is expected to be out of action for around 12 weeks.
"Oh, that is nasty."
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) October 20, 2018
The 128kg backrow clearly wasn’t impressed with the decision, tweeting: “Another game ruined! Unlucky everyone who bought tickets.”
Another game ruined! Unlucky everyone who bought tickets ??
— Billy Vunipola (@bvunipola) October 20, 2018
It’s capped off what was a dire week for Danny Cipriani, who was left out of England’s November Test squad by Eddie Jones.
“We’ve gone with two fly-halves. We think Owen and George are the two best fly-halves and they’ve been consistently in the team since I came in 2016,” Jones told reporters this week.
“We think they are the two guys to lead England forward. Danny is the third choice. There are some areas of the game we think he needs to work on. He understands that and now it’s up to him.”
But there could yet be further opportunities for Cipriani, who made his first start for England since 2008 against South Africa in June.
Discussing Cipriani, James Haskell and Don Armand, Jones added: “They are guys who could come back into the mix. No door is closed.
“We’re just looking at every player and seeing what they can contribute. But we think the players we’ve got in the squad at the moment are the best players.”
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