Danny Cipriani On Where The Rugby World Cup Final Will Be Won & Ford Or Farrell At 10

Jason Hennessy

Jason Hennessy

Jason is the editor here at RugbyLAD and a proud Limerick man.
Jason Hennessy

Up front.

Gloucester outhalf Danny Cipriani reckons this weekend’s Rugby World Cup final between England and South Africa will be won or lost in the forward pack.

The likes of Maro Itoje, Sam Underhill and Tom Curry were pivotal in England’s semi-final win over the All Blacks last Saturday and Cipriani reckons it will be much of the same this weekend.

The Springboks are renowned for having a monstrous pack with the likes of Eben Etzebeth, Malcolm Marx and Duane Vermeulen playing huge roles in their march to the final. But Cipriani feels England’s pack “can match and beat any team.”

“I’m not gonna make an assessment on who’s gonna win or not but I think it’s gonna be won or lost in the forward pack,” Cipriani told us.

“And I think England have the forward pack that can match and beat any team really.”

Cipriani is regarded as one of the best tens in the game today but missed out on Rugby World Cup selection. Instead, Eddie Jones went with George Ford and Owen Farrell, who have both occupied the 10 jersey in Japan.

The England head coach benched Ford in the quarter-final with Farrell at 10 but brought him back in against New Zealand with Farrell moved back out to 12. But who would Cipriani select at 10 this weekend for the final?

“Luckily I’m not selecting!” Cipriani said.

“I think the coach [Eddie Jones] will go with whatever he feels like is the right thing to do in the moment.

“I think they both have very good skillsets.”

In terms of the rest of the Rugby World Cup, Cipriani revealed he hasn’t watched much of it but highlighted South Africa’s Cheslin Kolbe (who has been passed fit for the final) as the player that impressed him most.

He also said credit needs to go Jamie Joseph for how he got Japan playing en route to their first-ever quarter-final. The Gloucester playmaker also touched on Ireland’s heavy defeat to the All Blacks in the quarter-finals.

“I think that game highlighted the difference in what can happen in terms of playing structured and unstructured rugby.” Cipriani added.

Away from the Rugby World Cup, Cipriani has been hugely encouraged by Gloucester’s excellent start to the Premiership season with the Cherry & Whites two from two so far with wins over Sale and Wasps.

“We just want to keep building and building and be the best we can be,” Cipriani said.

“I think Johann’s [Ackermann] got a great message in terms of what we’re trying to do.”

Cipriani has largely been overlooked by current England head coach Eddie Jones – but does he still hope that he will eventually be recalled, whether that be under Jones or a new head coach?

“I’m just focussed on playing Leicester this weekend! That’s my mindset. You’ve got to deal with it as it comes.”


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