Cipriani gets the nod as patience with Balshaw finally runs out

Danny Cipriani has been called up to replace the beleaguered Ian Balshaw at full back in the headline selection for England’s trip to Edinburgh in round 4 of the Six Nations. Many England fans will be calling for the declaration of a national holiday at this news after Balshaw’s recent displays although he retains his place in the 22. Lesley Vainikolo keeps hold of his place on the wing.

Lee Mears is also promoted from the bench to replace middle-aged stroppy adolescent Mark Regan, and Tom Croft gets a start at 6, replacing James Haskell who has failed to recover from the ankle injury he sustained against France.

So is Danny Boy the spark required to ignite England’s faltering backline? Has Matthew Tait, ostensibly the replacement full back in the first 3 rounds, been hard done by? Are there any other changes you would have liked to see for the Scotland game?

England Team to face Scotland at Murrayfield:

D Cipriani (Wasps); P Sackey (Wasps), J Noon (Newcastle), T Flood (Newcastle), L Vainikolo (Gloucester); J Wilkinson (Newcastle), R Wigglesworth (Sale Sharks); A Sheridan (Sale Sharks), L Mears (Bath), P Vickery (Wasps, capt), S Shaw (Wasps), S Borthwick (Bath), T Croft (Leicester), M Lipman (Bath), N Easter (Harlequins)

Replacements: G Chuter (Leicester), M Stevens (Bath), B Kay (Leicester), L Narraway (Gloucester), P Hodgson (London Irish), M Tait (Newcastle), I Balshaw (Gloucester).

6 thoughts on “Cipriani gets the nod as patience with Balshaw finally runs out

  1. Praise be to God… Cipriani can shine from Full Back if our forwards can subdue the understrength Jock forwards as they should. Balshaw still doesn’t deserve a place in the squad, let alone the 22 and Tait serves as cover for 15 so its a wasted spot on the bench, but at least BA is starting to admit the error of his ways!

  2. I have to say that I think the way the squad has evolved through this tournament isn’t the end of the world. At least Ashton has dropped people after giving them a chance; Regan and Balshaw particularly. Would loved to have seen Simpson-Daniel on the bench as Rob is right – Balshaw is a wasted spot. But then, I am slightly obsessed with seeing JSD play for England.

  3. Amen to that. Still mystified that Lewsey didn’t even make the squad. At 15 my order of priority would be (1) Lewsey (2) Tait (3) Brown (4) Cueto, etc…..(343255) Balshaw (grudginly).

  4. Well in the modern game, a good coach will pick replacements that are capable of changing a game in the last 20. Ashton’s certainly done that in selecting Balshaw – just look how he changed the face of the Wales game.

    One step at a time, eventually he’ll realise that the change needs to be in our favour! Kemlo, I think the whole nation is obsessed with wanting to see Sinbad play for England. Except Ashton of course.

    Anyway, starting to look like a decentish side now – certainly good enough to beat the lacklustre Sweaties. Biggest weakness still has to be Noon, who I really admire for his commitment but think he’s the wrong choice.

  5. I’m pleased to see Tom Croft and Lee Mears starting … and delighted beyond words to see anybody but Balshaw starting at 15.

  6. Now that Balshaw is back at 15 after Cipriani’s indiscretion, it’ll be me and the rest of the England supporters who are peering out from behind our fingers everytime a high ball goes near Ballsup….

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