DANNY CIPRIANI is a “coward” and a “sad case” according to former Lion Luke Fitzgerald.
Gloucester star Cipriani has been the in-form fly-half in English club rugby this season — but was still left out of the last Red Rose training squad.
And ex-Ireland back Fitzgerald feels England boss Eddie Jones made the right call.
He said: “I rate Danny, I just don’t think he is international class. He has too many holes in his game.
“The biggest hole in his game — and the main reason I wouldn’t be picking him ahead of guys like Owen Farrell or George Ford — is his defence is poor and he’s a bit of a coward.
“I saw him get out of the way of tackles when Leinster played Wasps at the Aviva a few years ago and that just sticks in my memory.”
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Cipriani returned to the England fold for last summer’s tour of South Africa and created his team’s match-winning try in the Third Test.
But his arrest outside a Jersey nightclub in August, which led to a £4,000 fine after he pleaded guilty to common assault, put him back in Jones’ bad books.
And Fitzgerald believes his off-field troubles will always hold him back.
Speaking on The Left Wing, Independent.ie’s rugby podcast, he said: “Why can’t Danny just keep his s*** together?
“Why does he have to do the night out and why is he always the one that gets picked on? Is he the unluckiest person in the world? I don’t think so.
“He has unbelievable physical gifts — he is so quick, has beautiful hands and is a nice kicker — but he just can’t stay on the straight and narrow. It is sad to see.
“He’s got the full package but his personality defects have caught up with him.
“He is a sad case because he has so much potential.
“Yet you just can’t have people like Cipriani because he is compromising the team the whole time.”
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