The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away. Danny Cipriani, the new star in the England rugby firmament, has been dropped from the England team to play Scotland for ‘inappropriate behaviour’. One wonders how this will affect the youngster in the long term but the most notable short-term impact is the return to the starting 15 of that crowd favourite, Ian Balshaw (well, favourite of the opposition crowd).
At this stage we can only speculate what form this ‘inappropriate behaviour’ took – mooning out of the coach window on the way to the training ground; making Brian Ashton an apple pie bed; doing his ‘elephant impression’ at the team meeting; being found with a voodoo doll of Jonny Wilkinson in a bid to get the 10 shirt?
Reports suggest that he was spotted leaving a nightclub at shortly after midnight last night. If this is the case then the word ‘pillock’ is one which springs immediately to mind. Only a year ago, Andrew Flintoff was dropped by the England cricket team for being seen out 2 days before a crucial World Cup match. Granted he was upside down underneath a pedalo but coaches and sporting authorities do tend to take a dim view of this sort of thing. And before your full debut?
From a purely selfish point of view, I will not be able to say in years to come that I was there when the great Danny Cipriani made his full debut. Instead I suspect I will be reduced to crowing that I was there when the hilarious Ian Balshaw made his final appearance.