Twelvetrees: Gloucester success could pave the way for Cipriani recall for England

Yahoo Sport UK
Billy Twelvetrees was speaking on behalf of Gallagher
Billy Twelvetrees was speaking on behalf of Gallagher

A title challenge with Gloucester Rugby could provide the antidote to England outcast Danny Cipriani’s international wilderness, according to clubmate Billy Twelvetrees.

The fly-half has not played for his country since last summer’s tour to South Africa, where he played a starring role to help the Red Rose win the final Test 25-10 in Cape Town.

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Cipriani hasn’t featured once during the Six Nations and was even snubbed for the training squad this week in favour of Harlequins’ Marcus Watson ahead of England’s finale with Scotland.

But while Gloucester teammate Twelvetrees rates Cipriani highly, he believes the 31-year-old would give Eddie Jones no choice but to pick him for the World Cup if he delivers silverware for his club.

“He’s a great talent and everyone knows that,” said Twelvetrees, who was speaking at a Gallagher ‘Train with your Heroes’ session at Hucclecote and Painswick RFC after their U12s side won a nationwide competition launched by Gallagher.

“Everyone knows how good he is and how good he can be, but it’s like anything you have so many good players in the team and not everyone can be selected.

“There are plenty of other players in the Premiership that go by the wayside and don’t get selected for further duty, but that is just the way it is in any walk of life.

“It’s one man’s opinion whether you get selected or not and you just have to keep grinding away. I think it’s shown in the past, if your team plays well then it makes a difference.

“If your individuals play well in the team and you’re successful on the pitch in terms of winning and winning titles then honours come beyond that.

“Saracens have shown that in the years that they have dominated the league and Europe and then their players go on to win international caps as they are winning week in, week out.

“It breeds confidence, good players, good environment around them, they are getting better every week, they are contributing to the environment and getting better as individuals.

“That’s what ticks away at everyone in the lower clubs and the teams that aren’t going so well just want to get better and better.

“Danny plays well for us every week and he does what he does, he’s helped us a huge amount in the time he has been here already and we just want to keep it going really.”

Cipriani has been a central figure in the Cherry and Whites’ quest for a top four finish in the Premiership this season following his move from Wasps in the summer.

He helped Gloucester record a crucial victory over rivals Harlequins last time out, but Twelvetrees insists the players will not get ahead of themselves as the title race heads towards its climax.

“We came together in pre-season and set goals as most organisations do at the start of a programme and this Premiership campaign is such a long season,” he said.

“There are 12 really good teams and that shows in the results at the weekend, with teams winning away from home that you probably don’t expect to win away from home.

“I think between position four and 12 there is not a lot of points in it and in three weeks’ time it could all be flipped on its head, you just don’t know.

“From our point of view at Gloucester, I think we really understand where we are as a team and what makes us tick, why we’re good and why we’re not good.

“I think we won’t get carried away and we won’t get down in the dumps when good or bad results happen, it’s just about repeating the good things week in, week out.”

Twelvetrees was speaking at a Gallagher ‘Train with your Heroes’ session at Hucclecote and Painswick RFC after their U12s side won a nationwide competition launched by Gallagher, a passionate community insurance broker and proud title partner of Premiership Rugby. Hucclecote and Painswick won by describing how their team embodies the spirit of rugby, both on and off the pitch, and helps grow the game locally.

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