Cipriani named in England squad

Date published: February 3 2015

Danny Cipriani will make his first Six Nations appearance in seven years in Cardiff after being named in England’s 25-man squad.

The Sale fly-half has pipped Stephen Myler to a bench spot behind George Ford, while Nick Easter is also in line to make his England return after being retained by Stuart Lancaster.

The 36 year-old, who started the last time England won at the Millennium Stadium in 2011, is back after a three-and-a-half-year international hiatus, stretching back to the Rugby World Cup quarter-final defeat to France the same year.

Leicester Tigers trio Dan Cole, Tom Croft and Tom Youngs make welcome returns to the international fold while Saracens loosehead prop Mako Vunipola is also back to join brother Billy after recovering from a dislocated knee cap.

Vunipola is preferred to Alex Corbisiero at loosehead, with Joe Marler expected to start against the Welsh.

At scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth gets the nod over Danny Care, a reward for his form with Saracens.

In the three-quarters, Jonathan Joseph looks set to return in the centres after his excellent recent form for Bath.

“Everyone named is fit and ready to go and we are looking forward to finalising our preparations over the next few days,” said Lancaster.

“While we have certain players unavailable through injury, it’s great to be able to welcome back guys who missed the QBE Internationals such as Dan Cole, Mako Vunipola and Tom Youngs.

“Their experience, alongside that of players like Tom Croft and Nick Easter, will be invaluable against a strong Welsh team.”

The squad will be trimmed to 23 on Wednesday morning.

England squad:
Forwards (14): Dave Attwood (Bath Rugby), Kieran Brookes (Newcastle Falcons), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers), Nick Easter (Harlequins), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (Wasps), George Kruis (Saracens), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, captain), Henry Thomas (Bath Rugby), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
Backs (11): Mike Brown (Harlequins), Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints), Danny Cipriani (Sale Sharks), George Ford (Bath Rugby), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)