Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cipriani Is Inspiring Geraghty's Euro Battle; Blond Ambition: Shane Geraghty Has Been Tipped to Become a High-Flyer for England

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cipriani Is Inspiring Geraghty's Euro Battle; Blond Ambition: Shane Geraghty Has Been Tipped to Become a High-Flyer for England

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRIS JONES

LONDON IRISH hope the "Danny Cipriani factor" will power them into afirst Heineken Cup semi-final with victory against bitter rivals Perpignan onSaturday.

Mike Catt believes the dramatic impact the London Wasps star has made at No10for England will fire up the Exiles' own multi-talented international rookieShane Geraghty.

Before a series of debilitating injuriesincluding a broken hand this seasonit was Geraghty who captured the imagination with his stunning England debutagainst France last season.

The 21-year-old's display featured the kind of sharp running that had markedhim out as one to watch while a member of the national academy based at Bathunder Brian Ashton, now England head coach.

It was an academy bursting with young talent and the majority of those playersare now operating at England or Premiership level including: Cipriani (a goodfriend of Geraghty's), Tom Rees, James Haskell and Dominic Waldouck (allWasps), Dylan Hartley (Northampton), Jordan Crane and Tom Varndell (bothLeicester), Mathew Tait (Newcastle), Tospy Ojo (Irish), Danny Care (Quins) andthe Gloucester trio of Ryan Lamb, Anthony Allen and Olly Morgan.

There is every reason to believe England will go into the 2011 World Cup in NewZealand with Cipriani at No10 and Geraghty at No12 to give England a highlydynamic midfield, one featuring real pace and clever footwork allied to aconfidence that many people mistake for arrogance.

Catt, the Exiles' backs coach and still a key member of the team, said: "Shaneis ready to come back after being out for some time and that is massive boostgoing into this huge test against Perpignan.

It is an incredibly exciting prospect to think of Danny and Shane in theEngland midfield in the future.

"I have worked with Shane for the last two years and watched him develop into areal talent and he's looking very sharp. …

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