England trio Danny Cipriani, Dylan Hartley and Mike Brown have spoken out following their omission from Eddie Jones' 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Danny Cipriani believes he needed to “turn water into wine” to convince England head coach Eddie Jones to select him for the Rugby World Cup.
The 31-year-old appreciates why Jones opted to omit him from the 31-man squad for Japan 2019, with Owen Farrell and George Ford the two front-line fly-halves.
Jones brought Cipriani back into the England mix during pre-season training, but left the former Wasps and Sale star out of his eventual line-up.
And now Cipriani has moved to express his acceptance with winding up surplus to World Cup requirements.
“What is a fair crack of the whip? I can’t go in there demanding any time,"said Cipriani when asked if he was given a fair fight at World Cup selection.
"...He (Jones) has put his faith in George Ford and Owen Farrell and they have done well for him.
“Going into a big competition I would have had to turn water into wine to really sway him. It would have been very difficult to do so.
“I can completely understand why he made his decision. Do I think it was the right decision? I don’t know. I am going to support England and hope they do great.” Full story
Meanwhile, former England captain Dylan Hartley says his World Cup omission left him feeling like he had died and it continues to keep him awake at night.
Speaking for the first time since his World Cup hopes were shattered, Hartley said: “Health-wise, I’m good. Healthy. Mentally stable. I’m in a good space, actually.
“When the World Cup squad was announced, it was almost like I’d died – friends getting in touch and seeing if I was OK.
“Ultimately, the way I looked at my whole rugby career and how I wanted it to pan out, and how it was going, was that this would have been the ultimate send-off, the dream finish to an international career.
"I wake up most nights thinking about it. It doesn't sit well with me, but I have come to terms with it..." Full story
Another player who was omitted from England’s final 31-man World Cup squad Harlequins full-back Mike Brown insists he has “no regrets” over the incident with Ben Te’o that could have cost him his World Cup place with England.
Eddie Jones refused to confirm whether an off-field incident with former Worcester star Te’o proved the cause.
Brown and Te’o are understood to have clashed off the field during a team bonding outing on a warm weather training camp in Treviso.
“We’re not in Eddie Jones’ head, so we don’t know what cost me selection, or whether I was going to get selected, whether I was close or whatever,” said Brown.
“I was in the squad of 45 and I have no regrets about anything that happened through pre-season because I gave my all..." Full story