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Foolish to ignore Cipriani - Diamond

14th December 2013 20:53

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Danny Cipriani: Good enough for England?

Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond insists England would be foolish to continue to overlook Danny Cipriani.

Cipriani scored two tries and also added six conversions and two penalties to set up a 53-14 Challenge Cup victory against Oyonnax on Friday.

After defeat to their French rivals last week Diamond's troops returned to the AJ Bell Stadium looking for revenge.

And in truth the result was never in doubt, the Sharks wrapping up a bonus-point by half-time as James Gaskell, Mark Cueto, Dan Braid, Rob Miller and Michael Paterson also crossed for scores.

But it was Cipriani who drew the most praise from Diamond after the game.

"Cipriani was outstanding, he is playing the way everyone knows he can so as long as the pack keeps delivering we stand a chance of winning a lot of games," he said.

"You would think so (it will be difficult for England to ignore him), but he's got to keep doing that.

"Keep delivering at training and in games and it would only be a fool who would not pick someone like that.

"They (Oyonnax) don't travel well, we knew that. They are a good home team and they proved that last week.

"Fair play, we learned from last week and got the bonus point before half-time which was good."

And with a key clash against London Irish next week when the Premiership returns, Diamond admits his side have had the ideal preparation.

"It's a big build for next week with London Irish at home," he added.

"The likes of Rob Miller and Tom Brady are coming to form, they are getting better every time they play.

"Last week we got beat and we learnt from it, we've come back and put them to the sword.

"The team is playing reasonably well and we are confident but it steps up again next week in the league."

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