Star playmaker Danny Cipriani has hit out at England’s “dull” style of play on the same weekend that England boss Eddie Jones named his 28-man squad for the Six Nations.
Little more than a month after walking out on his contract with Gloucester, the 33-year-old told the Daily Mail of his frustrations at the tactical style the World Cup runners-up, which he believes lacks the entertainment that draws fans to rugby.
“Rugby’s a bit dull at the moment. It has become a war of attrition and territory. The people at the top of the game in this country, that’s what they’re good at and it drip-feeds down,” he told the Daily Mail.
Cipriani took specific aim at Jones, who excluded the mercurial playmaker from his World Cup squad in 2019, the same year he was named RPA Player of the Year while at Gloucester.
“That’s how Eddie wants to play the game. He wants to have a massive kick battle and they’re better off without the ball – that’s what they are saying in the England camp.
“The difference is that I would ask questions as to why we were doing that. I’m not going to ask it in a rude way but because I’m asking questions, that makes me difficult, does it?
“Maybe the right thing to do is just keep your head down and do what the coach says.”
The 16-test international added that conservative mindset could be detrimental in drawing new fans to rugby, and that England could play a much more positive brand of rugby while maintaining a winning record.
“With the pack they have and the talent they have behind it, England could be playing a completely different brand of rugby and still be winning games.
“They could be bringing new fans to the game too, but at the moment, I’m not sure how new fans to rugby are going to enjoy it.”
Cipriani’s comments come as Jones named his Six Nations squad on Friday ahead of their campaign opener against Scotland at Twickenham on February 6.
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