England Rugby
Moody: When Cipriani turned up in a Ferrari
ESPNscrum Staff
October 30, 2011
The Rebels' Danny Cipriani looks for an opening, Brumbies v Rebels, Super Rugby, Canberra Stadium, Canberra, Australia, June 10, 2011
Danny Cipriani has endured a troubled first season with the Melbourne Rebels © Getty Images

Lewis Moody has revealed one of the potential early flashpoints in the seemingly strained relationship between Danny Cipriani and the England hierarchy.

The former Wasps fly-half made the last of his seven appearances for his country back in November 2008 before he was dropped for the England squad and chose to join the Melbourne Rebels in Super Rugby.

There was speculation at the time that Cipriani had fallen out with England boss Martin Johnson and Moody has now described how the young fly-half made a poor impression with senior England players.

"I am an open-minded guy but it is fair to say that my first impression of Danny Cipriani was not a good one," Moody reveals in his book Mad Dog: An Englishman, serialised in the Mail on Sunday.

"He had already made his mark by being dropped by Brian Ashton before England's 2008 Calcutta Cup match with Scotland after being spotted at a nightclub before the game, then producing an impressive display at stand-off against Ireland.

"The following season, Cipriani decided to turn up to Martin Johnson's first England camp in a Ferrari. Maybe there's a bit of old school about me but, when a young man comes into a new squad, I think he needs to keep his head down and get on with it.

"You stand out because you are a great player dedicated to training and playing. You don't stand out because you turn up in a Ferrari."

Moody, who retired from international rugby recently having skippered England to the World Cup, believes the early incident reveals much about the character of Cipriani, who endured a troubled first season with the Rebels.

"To me, it was an insight into what made Danny tick. Everyone was talking him up as the next best thing but the key word here is next. I have absolutely no problem with whatever car you choose to drive. But to do this at 19 seemed to me to be starting off his relationship with Johnno, who had taken charge of England after Ashton, on the wrong foot.

"If he knew anything about Johnno at all, he'd have known the last thing he should have done was breeze into the England camp in that car."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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