Cipriani puts hand up for England recall

by AFP

Danny Cipriani kicked 14 points to help Gloucester to a 19-14 victory over French champions Castres in the European Champions Cup on Sunday.

The mercurial flyhalf - axed last month from Eddie Jones' England training squad - booted four penalties and converted Callum Braley's first-half try.

Four days before he announces his squad for next month's games against South Africa, New Zealand, Japan and Australia, Jones was in the crowd at Kingsholm to see Cipriani mix excellent kicking, some inspired passing with the occasional error of judgement.

"I thought Danny was good," Gloucester head coach Johann Ackermann said.

But he added that Cipriani was behind Owen Farrell and George Ford in the England pecking order.

"Eddie has made up his mind that in Owen and Ford he has guys that play the way he wants to play, and then only when he needs Danny will he bring him in.Cipriani is trying to find a way back into the England squad. Photo: Getty ImagesTo be fair, I would have to work with those two before I can really see the main reasons why he selects them."

"How many guys can you pick in one position?" Ackermann asked.

"The only thing for me is that Danny does as well as he can for us and does his talking on the field."

"I do believe, regardless of what happens in the autumn Tests, he is a driven person and a lot of things can change between now and the World Cup."

Castres fought back with a try from winger Martin Laveau, Julien Dumora hitting the conversion and two penalties to grab a valuable defensive bonus point in a Pool 2 that also features Exeter and Munster, who drew 10-all on Saturday.

Cardiff Blues, who won the second-tier Challenge Cup last season, ran out comfortable 30-21 victors over Lyon in Pool 3, a tough group that also includes Glasgow and two-time winners Saracens.

Kiwi-born Gareth Anscombe produced a man-of-the-match performance from full-back in a timely outing ahead of Wales' November internationals.

Anscombe crossed for a memorable 55-metre try in a consummate showing that also saw him kick three penalties and three conversions, Olly Robinson and Tomos Williams crossing for the Welsh region.

France veteran Lionel Beauxis kept plugging away to keep the home side in the game, but a Blues backrow led by skipper Ellis Jenkins dominated the breakdown to turn the match.