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With Cipriani on verge of England exit, these are Wasps options

By Alex Shaw
Danny Cipriani

It is closing in on crunch time for Wasps and Danny Cipriani.

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The talismanic fly-half had stated that he would wait until January to make a decision on his future and his lack of inclusion in the recent two-day England training camp for the Six Nations will not have improved Wasps’ chances of retaining him.

There is interest from several Top 14 clubs in Cipriani’s services, including Lyon, Stade Français and Toulon, and they have the means to offer him a more lucrative deal than Wasps can, with the English side eager not to jeopardise the overall quality of their squad under the salary cap by overpaying at a single position.

Should he choose to make the move across the Channel, no one could blame him.

He has been one of the form fly-halves in the world game over the last three or four years, but the timing of his resurgence and maturing as a rugby player has unfortunately coincided with the rises of Owen Farrell and George Ford as England’s preferred playmakers.

Beyond the duo of Ford and Farrell, Eddie Jones has looked to blood fly-halves who have the ability to play multiple positions, such as Alex Lozowski, Henry Slade and Piers Francis, whilst the next genuine challenger for the 10 jersey seems to have been found in Marcus Smith.

As a result, no one would begrudge Cipriani heading to France and setting himself up for his future after rugby, but it does leave Wasps in an interesting spot.

Back in December, Wasps director of rugby Dai Young said that should Cipriani move to France, he would likely look to bring in a centre next season, with Jimmy Gopperth capable of moving back to 10.

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The New Zealander will be 35 years of age at the beginning of the 2018/19 season and injuries can begin to occur more often later in a player’s career, potentially making Wasps’ fly-half depth next season look worryingly thin.

Connor Eastgate and Jacob Umaga are two further options in Wasps’ senior academy, but neither player has had much senior rugby experience outside of the A League and Anglo-Welsh Cup.

Wasps’ recruiting strategy over the next few months will be interesting to watch, with many of the notable fly-halves coming off contract, such as Dan Carter, Finn Russell, Dan Biggar and Simon Hickey, having already publicly agreed deals to move to other clubs, whilst many more have verbal agreements in place, with official confirmation to come shortly.

 

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Red and White Dynamight 3 hours ago
Duhan van der Merwe hat-trick sinks sloppy England to win Calcutta Cup

Up the Jocks ! a great team effort and 4 victories v on the bounce v their greatest rivals for those north of Hadrians. But, of course, before the celebrations survive the first pint of McEwans, it seems for some this Calcutta Cup match was merely 1 man v 15. What exactly is it about Sth Africans that make them such insufferable bores ? you rarely see Kiwis claiming Ireland victories (incl 3 x NZers) or Aussies for that matter (X1). You never see Samoans claiming France/England victories (Tuilagis). Or Fijians claim All Black victories. Scotland have had some great Kiwi-born players (S.Lineen/B.Laney/J.Leslie) - no surprise given their heritage - but they supported them as their ‘2nd team’. If anything they applaud their countrymen for taking opportunities and bettering themselves as professionals and, hopefully, competing on the World stage too. It takes some stratospheric level of stupid to ignore the opaque boundaries and qualifications that now allow Japan to be competitive, Portugal to win a RWC game, Argentinians to play for Italy, New Zealanders to dominate Tongan and Samoan teams - and not celebrate that World Rugby is more competitive and better for it. Everywhere on social media, even when the post has zero to do with Sth Africans (schoolboy rugby being the most obvious barrel-scraping eg - these are KIDS), they pile in and try to claim the “we are better/stronger/faster” with such voluminous levels of obnoxious bile, that it poisons the mere celebration of the sport itself. These are not ‘rugby fans’ that can marvel at the Game they Play in Heaven, but rather some misplaced insecure-fuelled poison that they need to extract from deep inside their psyche. Its hard to understand the exact reason for the massive chip on their shoulders and their desperation for the victimhood/noone-loves-us-we-dont-care, but it seems accelerated with their LOTTO Cup 1-pt wins, like gasoline on the fire. Obsessed with ‘cheating’ refs and ‘cheating’ opposition (Rassies video bloopers during Lions tour; McCaw’s whole career) and celebrating their own thuggery (#JUSTICE4 the dirtiest player in pro-rugby history), when luck suddenly goes their way (1995 Final vs an acutely comprimised ABs; Kilosi<->Cane cards in 2023 Final) or their players escape adequate penalty (Etzebeth 1-handed non-intercepts; Kolbe illegal chargedown; Etzebeth cynically retreating in the AB backline) so obviously that its clearly been coached, then suddenly its AOK as long its SA that benefit directly from it. The schizophrenic nature of Sth Africans presents them as good company in person - and lets face it, theyre EVERYWHERE now and cant get out of their own country fast enough - but as anonymous keyboard ninjas their true nature shines out as one beset with a dark undercurrent of toxic self-absorption. It appears that the bravado appears only under the protection of anonymity, a cowardice of insufferable reverse-flagellation to make themselves feel proud when the mirror stares back at them. Give yourselves a long slow clap. Well done to the entire Scotland team including all those born south of Hadrians Wall. Playing a fantastic fast pace of fluid ball-in-hands rugby that seems almost foreign to other teams. Och aye the noo.

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