Mighty Murray Has Given Me a Boost, Says Cipriani; in the Running: Danny Cipriani Knows He Must Raise His Game When Wasps Take on Leinster in the Heineken Cup This Weekend

The Evening Standard (London, England), January 13, 2009 | Go to article overview
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Mighty Murray Has Given Me a Boost, Says Cipriani; in the Running: Danny Cipriani Knows He Must Raise His Game When Wasps Take on Leinster in the Heineken Cup This Weekend


Byline: CHRIS JONES

DANNY CIPRIANI is taking inspiration from Andy Murray's domination of the world's best tennis players and wants to make his own sporting history having finally overcome the horrendous ankle injury that threatened his career.

The London Wasps No10, dropped by England during the November Tests, returns to Twickenham on Saturday for a make-or-break Heineken Cup pool clash with Leinster needing to prove he really can be a world-class player.

And he goes into that game galvanised by the success British No1 Murray (below) has already enjoyed this year in beating Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick to become the favourite for next week's Australian Open Cipriani, who like Murray is 21, said: "It is massively inspiring to see what Andy Murray has done in recent weeks and it followed on from what Lewis Hamilton achieved winning the Formula One championship last year. Andy is beating the best in the world on a regular basis and it shows that British sportsmen can achieve great things and that's what I am trying to do.

"You don't have to be in your late 20s to make a real impact at the highest level. Andy and Lewis are also young and you can learn a lot in a short time and I have had to do that.

"I know those lessons are going to benefit me in the long term." Cipriani has already had his share of setbacks, the most serious being the ankle injury he suffered in May, which was supposed to keep him out for six months. Although the f ly-half made an early return in October there have been problems with his game, namely with charged-down kicks.

He admits to making basic errors allowing his decision making to become muddled when it should be clear and that is understandable, given Cipriani's first instinct is to attack with the ball.

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