June target for Cipriani – Lancaster

Date published: January 10 2014

England coach Stuart Lancaster has given hope to Danny Cipriani, saying the fly-half should look to make the tour to New Zealand.

England coach Stuart Lancaster has given hope to fly-half Danny Cipriani, saying the Sale Shark should look to make the June tour to New Zealand.

The 26-year-old, who has played well for Sale thus far this season, was not selected in any of Lancaster's EPS squads revealed on Thursday.

But the door is definitely not shut on the player according to Lancaster, who said he called Cipriani personally to inform him of the squad.

“There's certainly no issue with him as a person,” he told BBC Sport.

“I've said to him his goal has to be the summer tour of New Zealand.”

Lancaster, who selected Owen Farrell, George Ford, Stephen Myler and Henry Slade, went on to say that he has been impressed by Cipriani's consistency as the fly-half looks to return to the Test fold for the first time since November 2008.

“I had a long conversation with him on Wednesday, a good chat. I have watched all his games,” Lancaster added.

“He's been a lot more consistent this season but I want to leave him at Sale to keep making progress, which he accepted and he said he felt it was the right thing to do.

“There are some areas where he's got some ground to make up as we move towards the World Cup. He's beginning to make up that ground, though, which is good.”