Cipriani’s WC hopes in jeopardy


The Sale Sharks player, 27, was said to be unhurt after his Mercedes crashed into a Toyota in west London early Monday morning.

A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police said: “Police were called at approximately 5.15am (0415 GMT) on Monday, 1 June to reports of two cars in collision in Imperial Road, SW6.

“The driver of the Mercedes, a 27-year-old man, was arrested on suspicion of drink driving.

“He was taken to a west London police station where he was later released on police bail. Return date to be confirmed.”

Newspaper reports identified the arrested man as being Cipriani.

The talented fly-half is a member of a 50-man preliminary World Cup squad, and looked to have boosted has chances of being called up to the final squad of 31, when it is announced on August 31, after scoring 33 points in an England XV's 73-12 victory over the Barbarians at Twickenham on Sunday.

Only last week Cipriani said being included in England's World Cup training squad was a “dream” and revealed he wanted to become a coach when his playing days were over.

“I want to be a role model and that person who helps develop people,” Cipriani said.

Cipriani has often hit the headlines for his off-field activities, having dated models Kelly Brook and Katie Price, and was knocked unconscious after being hit by a bus during a night out with team-mates in 2013.

England coach Stuart Lancaster has already dropped hooker Dylan Hartley, after he received a four-match suspension for headbutting an opponent, and centre Manu Tuilagi, who was convicted of shoving two police officers in a fight, from his World Cup squad.

Cipriani backed Lancaster's decision to axe powerful centre Tuilagi, unaware then that off-field indiscipline might also scupper his own World Cup hopes seven days later.

“Manu understands what he did and Stuart Lancaster handled it in the best way he could,” Cipriani said.

“It will be sad that Manu won't be there but the rules have been set. And that's how it is.”

England's 2011 World Cup was dogged by indiscipline after players were photographed on a night out and three of the team reprimanded for making inappropriate comments to a female hotel worker.

Tuilagi was also formally warned by police after jumping from a ferry in Auckland.

Lancaster has until the deadline of August 31 to name his final 31-man World Cup squad.

Tournament hosts England face Fiji in their World Cup opener at Twickenham on September 18.– AFP

Original source: Cipriani’s WC hopes in jeopardy