Player Profile: Daniel Cipriani

Danny Cipriani

Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)

Weight: 14 st 2 lb (90 kg)

Date of Birth: November 2, 1987 (1987-11-02) (age 20)

Birthplace: Roehampton, England

Daniel Cipriani, the Golden Boy of English rugby made his long awaited Wasps bow in the 2006-07 season predominately at full-back in the Wasps Heineken Cup winning side of 2006-07, during which he also made the step-up to the England Saxons side. However, Cipriani’s rise to the pinnacle of English rugby has been on the cards since an early age. Spotted as a young talent at the Wimbledon College Prep School, Donhead, Cipriani was nurtured into a prodigious young talent whilst playing at a junior level at Rosslyn Park, before moving up through the ranks at the Wasps Academy – representing England at U16 and U19 level along the way, and making his Wasps first team debut at the age of 17.

After Alex King left Wasps in the summer of 2007, the fly-half position at the club became vacant, and, after playing in a series of positions for Wasps in the early games of the 2007-08 season, he played 2 games in a row at fly-half, against Gloucester and Munster, London Wasps winning both, not only due to their prowess but also due to Cipriani.

He has played in most of London Wasps’ matches in the first half of the season at fly-half. His mixture of good vision, kicking and pace has earned him praise from many sources.

It was this good form that led to his call up to the full England set up in the summer camp prior to the 2007 World Cup. However, the disappointment that resulted from missing out making his debut at the World Cup was not apparent in Cipriani’s explosive form in the 2007-08 season. His performances led to a call up to the full England set-up in the 2008 Six Nations. He made his full debut as a replacement for Mike Tindall in the 2008 RBS 6 Nations match against Wales at Twickenham in February and then also came on a week later against Italy in Rome. His starting debut for England was due to be realised when he was picked at full-back for the game against Scotland on 8 March 2008. However, two days before Cipriani was to make his full England debut, he was axed from the squad due to “inappropriate behaviour”, believed to relate to a late night visit to a London nightclub. He started against Ireland on 15 March 2008, which England won 33-10, replacing Jonny Wilkinson at fly-half.

On Sunday 18 May 2008, Cipriani suffered a serious injury during Wasps’ semi-final play-off victory over Bath. Cipriani was tackled by Olly Barkley and got trapped at the bottom of a ruck in the 49th minute at Adams Park. His ankle was severely disfigured. He needed oxygen on the pitch before being taken to hospital, where he underwent surgery on his ankle. He was ruled out of England’s tour of New Zealand but made a comeback from his horrendous injury over a month sooner than expected in Wasps recent defeat to Bath in the Guinness Premiership.

He is due to return to international rugby with the England Saxons.