Victoria Beckham is celebrating her 47th birthday in the Sunshine State. The fashion designer had a low-key bonfire-lit celebration in Miami on Friday night (ahead…
Danny Cipriani showed the true value of his ‘golden’ wrists by serving up a man-of-the-match display for Eddie Jones.
A fortnight after his assault conviction Cipriani faced another trial as the England boss headed to Kingsholm to judge his rugby.
Jones was greeted by a sensational piece of skill that ensured Cipriani’s Premiership debut for Gloucester ended in triumph.
The fly-half knew he had to prove himself all over again following his arrest in Jersey during which he reportedly told cops: "These wrists are gold, loosen the cuffs”.
His response was of the 18 carat variety as he used them to take the game away from Northampton with a moment of magic.
Sensing space out wide Cipriani flicked a no-look pass which brilliantly took out three Saints defenders and allowed Charlie Sharples to score.
“Great vision and understanding of the game,” raved team mate Henry Trinder. “Danny doesn’t force things, he doesn’t throw Hail Mary’s. Everything is calculated with him. “
With Jones naming his England squad on Sept 20, Cipriani knew he had no time to waste.
His delight at making such a strong start – in contrast to Wales fly-half Dan Biggar’s debut horror show for Northampton – was clear to see.
“It’s a big year for everyone playing rugby,” he said, defecting the focus from himself. “It’s about everyone stepping up.
“As a group I felt we stepped up today. The way the lads have helped me in the last couple of weeks has been amazing.”
In truth this was a game bossed by Gloucester’s pack on the club’s new £1m pitch – with England-eligible prop Val Rapava Ruskin particularly prominent.
That went down well with the posse of club legends returning for the club’s 5,000th competitive match.
But a day of unrelenting misery for Biggar, who fluffed three restarts, almost inevitably belonged to Cipriani.
“Obviously Danny has a lot of history and people have their ifs and buts about him but he has come in here 100 per cent focused to win something and push this team forward,” Trinder said.
“The situation (in Jersey) was dealt with, the boys got behind Danny and it didn’t faze us at all. If anything it made us stronger.
"This win will hopefully be a full stop behind all of that and we can get on with our season.”
GLOUCESTER – Tries: Hanson, Sharples. Con: Twelvetrees. Pens: Twelvetrees 5.
NORTHAMPTON – Try: Francis, Lawes. Pens: Biggar 2.
Man of the match: Danny Cipriani
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