Coach Eddie Jones has confirmed that he left Danny Cipriani out of his 36-man squad for England’s training camp because of form alone. The 30-year-old Gloucester fly-half had worked his way back into the national set-up this year, culminating with a starting role in the 25-10 win over South Africa in Cape Town in June.
However, Cipriani’s place in the England set-up was plunged into doubt when he was fined by both magistrates and Gloucester after pleading guilty to common assault and resisting arrest in Jersey in August.
Jones responded to the news by insisting that Cipriani’s future involvement in his plans would always be determined by his form and he alluded to that again when revealing his latest squad on Thursday morning by saying the decision was “100%” on rugby grounds.
The Australian added: “We have decided just to have two stand-offs in this particular camp as we want them to get a lot of training time. He knows what he has to work on.”
Jones did add that Cipriani still has “as much opportunity as any other player inside or outside the squad” to be involved in his World Cup plans in Japan in 12 months’ time.
Meanwhile, there is a first place in the squad since 2016 for Leicester centre Manu Tuilagi and Sale winger Chris Ashton is also included, despite being sidelined until mid-October because of a seven-week suspension.
There is a call-up for Bath’s uncapped winger Joe Cokanasiga and Saracens number eight Billy Vunipola is back into the fold after recovering from a fractured arm.
Jones will use the training camp to assess the players before cutting it down for the November internationals – against South Africa, New Zealand, Japan and Australia in consecutive weekends at Twickenham – on 18 October.