Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cipriani Is in Dog House Again after His Spat with Catt Casts a Dark Shadow; the Under-Fire Wasps Fly-Half Refuses to Shake His Opponent's Hand as He Battles Hard to Work His Way Back into the England Squad. by Chris Jones

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cipriani Is in Dog House Again after His Spat with Catt Casts a Dark Shadow; the Under-Fire Wasps Fly-Half Refuses to Shake His Opponent's Hand as He Battles Hard to Work His Way Back into the England Squad. by Chris Jones

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Jones

DANNY CIPRIANI'S attempt to win friends and influence the England selectors is failing if London Wasps' 21-16 Guinness Premiership win over London Irish is any indication.

Cipriani was involved in a confrontation with veteran Irish outside-half Mike Catt at the end of the match which saw the out-of-favour 21-year-old refuse to shake his opposite number's hand.

It was a petulant snub which he maintained throughout the post-match exchange and Cipriani went out of his way to extravagantly shake the other Irish players' hands.

Catt, 37, did the same with the Wasps players and then positioned himself right next to Cipriani as the two teams lined up to clap each other off the pitch.

Cipriani refused to acknowledge Catt.

Will Greenwood, the former England centre, believes Cipriani's omission from the national team is due to his unpopularity among fellow England players. As he left the pitch, Catt, who has been fiercely critical of Cipriani's form this season, echoed Greenwood's sentiments when he said: "Do you think it matters to me that someone doesn't shake my hand? I suppose you could say it comes down to respect." With only England kicking coach Jon Callard present at the ground to watch Cipriani in action, it is obvious that team manager Martin Johnson and backs coach Brian Smith did not consider an afternoon at Adams Park a necessary option as they mull over possible changes for the Six Nations match with France at Twickenham on Sunday.

But Cipriani says he is remaining positive. "I am not getting frustrated at not playing for England and I will wait and see what happens," he said.

"The coaches have spoken only about rugby reasons and if I am the best number 10 in the country then I will be picked by England." If they had bothered to take a stand seat, they would have seen Cipriani goal kick with accuracy in a strong wind,but also throw a couple of wayward passes that could have been punished on a another day.

Irish utility back Shane Geraghty was also hoping to regain lost ground with the England selectors and proved his versatility by appearing at full-back and displayed a range of skills that makes him a real option for the England replacements against France. …

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