Farrell's bad luck could be Cipriani's England gain

تم نشره في Tue 27 January / Jan 2015. 08:52 PM

LONDON (Reuters) - Owen Farrell's misfortune could be Danny Cipriani's gain. The prospect of the talented but often troubled flyhalf laying down a marker for England in World Cup year became more realistic on Tuesday when Farrell was ruled out of the entire Six Nations.

His absence with a knee ligament injury elevated Cipriani and Stephen Myler up the pecking order with both contending to be on the bench when coach Stuart Lancaster names his side to face Wales in Cardiff on Feb. 6.

With George Ford nailed on to start in the pivotal number 10 role, Lancaster must decide whether maverick Cipriani is ready to continue his road back to redemption in the Millennium Stadium bear pit for the Friday night blockbuster.

Myler has been nothing but consistent for Northampton Saints but in Cipriani, Lancaster, should he choose to, can call on a player who despite an unfulfilled stop-start career still possesses the X factor to dazzle.

Still an international novice of just nine caps since his debut in 2008, Cipriani has shown flashes of his brilliant best since joining Sale Sharks from the Melbourne Rebels.

His form this season has been patchy, despite the 27-year-old being linked with a move to European champions Toulon, and it has taken Lancaster time to be impressed.

Cipriani went on the summer tour to New Zealand and played twice against the All Blacks, but was then left out in the cold for England's November internationals.

Farrell's bad luck in adding to a growing list of problems for Lancaster might just be the moment Cipriani seizes his chance.

"It's a real shame for Owen that he sustained this injury and we wish him the best for his recovery," Lancaster told the RFU website.

"We are fortunate to have three other No 10s in the squad in what is a very competitive position and we will look forward to seeing how they go over the Six Nations."

Flanker Tom Wood and lock Geoff Parling are also struggling to get fit to face Wales along with centres Kyle Eastmond and Brad Barritt.

"We will continue to assess and treat the other players’ injuries and will provide an update tomorrow," Lancaster said.

Forwards Ben Morgan and Joe Launchbury have also been ruled out of the Six Nations and lock Courtney Lawes will miss the Wales game.