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wilmartin
28-03-08, 11:46 PM
Many say Jonny Wilkinson is out of the international level, to Danny Cipriani. But Does anyone argue, I know I sure as hell do, if he returns to form which I see him doing, he will wipe the floor with Danny, we cant say that hes not in the top 3 fly halfs in the world on form no matter how much we like danny.
Danny also has many rivals eg Toby Flood, and the london Irish fly half whos name Icant spell. Why should these people be forgotten?

SaintsFan_Webby
29-03-08, 06:56 AM
we cant say that hes not in the top 3 fly halfs in the world on form no matter how much we like danny.
[/b]



Yes, we can.



6 years ago it would have been hard to argue Jonny wasn't in that position. He's lost it though, and no longer draws defenders to him. Plus his distribution and decision making recently at the highest level has been very suspect. Toby Flood has been carrying him from inside centre and, sad though it may be, England cannot continue to pick players for old times sake or because people like them.



Marc Lievremont refused to bow to pressure when he dropped Chabal, England should do the same with Wilkinson.



And FYI I think most people could name more than 3 international fly-halves currently better than him:



Carter

Evans

Hook

Jones

Hernandez

etc



That's five off the top of my head without even thinking about it, and convincing cases could be made for many others. It's time to dismantle the Jonny bandwagon and pick who is actually on form. Complete waste of the talent pool otherwise.

Bullitt
29-03-08, 09:13 AM
Even in England Wilkinson isn't near the best available, just off the top of my head I can think of;

Lamb
Cipriani
Geherety
Flood
Myler
Flutey

And they're only the youngsters. If England are desperate for a kicking outhalf, Andy Goode has a much more complete all round game also.

Wilkinson sits too deep in the pocket, no-longer can read a defence or spot a linebreak, has no pace, never passes the ball, never finds touch on a downfield punt, really isn't any good at goal kicking and (listening to some of his recent intervielws) is a f***ing idiot... Players don't have poor form, my arse they don't.

wilmartin
29-03-08, 02:08 PM
Cipriani
Geherety
Flood
Goode
These are the three(and hodgson) who can touch international standards I do not think the others have a chance, also I said 'on form' hes in the top three which quite frankly he is.
I still think we shouldn't disregard him just because of one match, he played fine in six nations 07 and for world cup 07 as no one could get their act together untill her returned, this will just be a patch and im sure he wil return to full form.

SaintsFan_Webby
29-03-08, 06:50 PM
Who is disregarding him because of one match? People are clamouring for guys like Cipriani to be picked because they are simply playing much better rugby. Considering the way young Danny was striking the ball against Ireland, I'm not even sure it can even be argued that England need Jonny for his once prolific boot.

The main problem is that he simply doesn't commit defenders at the highest level. When Cipriani gets the ball, multiple defenders rush to bring him down because they know he can cause havoc given any time on the ball. Wilkinson just no longer has the pace to threaten the gain line and make defenders tackle him.

iWin
29-03-08, 07:35 PM
Jonny doesn't work any more. He can kick fairly well, but the backs don't function. Cipriani is good at general play, not just kicking. In the past, Jonny was one of the best fly halfs in the world. Now he's not that special.

Nidhogg
29-03-08, 08:03 PM
The main problem is that he simply doesn't commit defenders at the highest level. When Cipriani gets the ball, multiple defenders rush to bring him down because they know he can cause havoc given any time on the ball. Wilkinson just no longer has the pace to threaten the gain line and make defenders tackle him.[/b]

This ^

I've heard people calling for Johnny to play 12, but the same argument still applies. He has been unable to present any danger with the ball in hand the past few years. This means that defenders will know they won't have to commit to him, since he isn't going to break the line anyway. His passing has been average as best, and so has his kicking game. He just doesn't cut it at this moment.

nick_w
29-03-08, 08:31 PM
Jonny is a basketcase i'm afraid. No longer is he a talismanic back, more a waste of space. Don't get me wrong, he has contributed so much to rugby in England, and no doubt he will continue to be a great ambassador for the game, but unless his form picks up dramatically then that famous drop goal will remain the only classic wilko memory I'm afraid.

I'd love to see him back and challenging Danny. Competition for position brings out the best in players, but I don't think the Wasps fly half will be receiving much competition from his opposite number up north.

Thanks for the memories Jonny, but lets see what young Cipriani can do.

thepretender
21-04-08, 09:53 PM
his distribution was shown to be pedestrian at best, and the difference that a flat fly half brought to england was witnessed in the Ireland game.

jonny isn't exactly in form for newcastle either, and i see that as one of their problems. they have, potentially, an outstanding fly-half in flood, but he has to play 2nd fiddle to Wilko. Perhaps with his injury, Flood will see a promotion to the 10 spot.

Eche_17
27-06-08, 02:34 AM
Hey guys do you really think that Cipriani can overthrow Wilko??

No chance.

sanzar
27-06-08, 05:04 AM
Hey guys do you really think that Cipriani can overthrow Wilko??

No chance. [/b]

Name the last time Wilkinson did anything of value (that wasn't the 2003 RWC - now 5 years ago).
Exactly.

Bullitt
27-06-08, 06:47 AM
Hey guys do you really think that Cipriani can overthrow Wilko??

No chance. [/b]

What do you mean can? He already has.

Sir Speedy
27-06-08, 08:31 AM
<div class='quotemain'> Hey guys do you really think that Cipriani can overthrow Wilko??

No chance. [/b]

What do you mean can? He already has.
[/b][/quote]
:lol: /thread.

cyRil
27-06-08, 10:28 AM
Cipriani
Geherety
Flood
Goode
These are the three(and hodgson) who can touch international standards I do not think the others have a chance, also I said &#39;on form&#39; hes in the top three which quite frankly he is.
I still think we shouldn&#39;t disregard him just because of one match, he played fine in six nations 07 and for world cup 07 as no one could get their act together untill her returned, this will just be a patch and im sure he wil return to full form.
[/b]
But what is his form these days? He hasn&#39;t displayed how well he can play for several years. Perhaps he has now deviated to his overall &#39;form&#39; being that of mediocre stand-off, due to his number of injuries and the comparative weakness of the pack.

gingergenius
27-06-08, 10:57 AM
Get this straight. Jonny pre-injury was the best fly half in the world. He was a metronomic goalkicker, capable of bossing a game better than anyone, and showed time and time again he possessed flair (see 2002 try vs NZ..)

Jonny post injury is still capable of that. We&#39;ve seen he&#39;s still very classy, and can kick well. What we also forget is that with him at 10, there&#39;s no need to pick lumps outside him in order to bolster the defence, because JW is still the best tackling 10 in world rugby.

However, whereas the JW of 2002/3 was consistently fiyah, now he throws out one good performance next to a couple of ordinary ones and also can be abysmal.

His goalkicking has become increasingly unreliable; out of hand he was never outstanding but now he&#39;s just poor; and without a Will Greenwood at 12 he really misses out on the creative gamereading side and is thus &#39;boring&#39; since Flood doesn&#39;t have the experience to boss him around.

--------------------------

Cipriani is an outstanding talent. I think if he was fit he&#39;d be a shoe-in to the England 10 shirt. He&#39;s quick, creative, and has an excellent kicking game. One thing I noticed is JW tends to try to kick end-over-end which gets less distance. DC I&#39;ve seen put in some monster punts and for me distance > accuracy.

ATM, Cipriani is easily a better 10. However, he&#39;s got a long term injury to recover from, we&#39;ll see how he manages that.

Bullitt
27-06-08, 11:02 AM
In fairness sitting in that comfy armchair behind the England pack circa 2002 -the decline had already begun by the 2003 WC-, even I could have been the best 10 in the world! People also seem to forget Newcastle&#39;s woeful performances back then (which to this day) have always been lower-mid table or relegation dogfights.

danny
27-06-08, 04:59 PM
Cipriani
Geherety
Flood
Goode
These are the three(and hodgson) who can touch international standards I do not think the others have a chance, also I said &#39;on form&#39; hes in the top three which quite frankly he is.
I still think we shouldn&#39;t disregard him just because of one match, he played fine in six nations 07 and for world cup 07 as no one could get their act together untill her returned, this will just be a patch and im sure he wil return to full form.
[/b]
goode and Hodgeson have proven they are good club players but cannot unfortunatly make the step up to test rugby. Gerehty is my tip tp rival Cipriani in the coming years. Dont even consider Lamb, he has a **** attitude and lacks the defence to flourish for England. He`ll do for Glaws until someone better comes along!

gingergenius
27-06-08, 05:34 PM
<div class='quotemain'>
Cipriani
Geherety
Flood
Goode
These are the three(and hodgson) who can touch international standards I do not think the others have a chance, also I said &#39;on form&#39; hes in the top three which quite frankly he is.
I still think we shouldn&#39;t disregard him just because of one match, he played fine in six nations 07 and for world cup 07 as no one could get their act together untill her returned, this will just be a patch and im sure he wil return to full form.
[/b]
goode and Hodgeson have proven they are good club players but cannot unfortunatly make the step up to test rugby. Gerehty is my tip tp rival Cipriani in the coming years. Dont even consider Lamb, he has a **** attitude and lacks the defence to flourish for England. He`ll do for Glaws until someone better comes along!
[/b][/quote]

I get the sense that Lamb will become Hodgson take 2. However, I&#39;d suggest it might be worth giving him a chance one of these days; trust him against say Italy... a team we won&#39;t lose to but aren&#39;t a pisstake either.

I&#39;ll say it now as I&#39;ve said it before, we need to choose players and stick with them. Which is why I feel we&#39;ve wasted a lot of time since the world cup when we could have blooded new players in the midfield (as it is, DC&#39;s had 1 cap, hipkiss and tait have had minimal chances, and everyone else who&#39;s played has been tried and tested). By now we could have given these guys more of a go, and have an idea about who we&#39;re going to select and be consistent with.

As it is I can see us fiddling around with 10-12-13 for another year at least, with the usual thing of the media moaning about a lack of defensive capability; noon comes in and then they moan about a lack of attack; he gets dropped again and the cycle continues.

Harpy106
28-06-08, 09:15 AM
In fairness sitting in that comfy armchair behind the England pack circa 2002 -the decline had already begun by the 2003 WC-, even I could have been the best 10 in the world! People also seem to forget Newcastle&#39;s woeful performances back then (which to this day) have always been lower-mid table or relegation dogfights.
[/b]

I think you&#39;re being slightly disingenuous blaming one player for the failings of an entire team here. It&#39;s possible that Wilkinson&#39;s performance would improve if playing for a better team (or equally not), but unless you can prove that Newcastle underperform by sheer dint of picking Wilkinson at 10, I think you just have to admit Newcastle (and it pains me!) are second rate and need a lot of work if they&#39;re going to compete.

Cerlach121
28-06-08, 09:16 AM
Like many are saying on this post, Wilko just dosn&#39;t have the pace to cut it at top level for fly half any more. He dosn&#39;t draw defenders to him like he used too and his kicking at post and out of hand has alos become very erratic.

I think he will become a fantastic bench player for england, someone who can cover both FH and IC as his tackling abilities are superb, plus when he played at IC against ireland in the Six nations with Cipriani making the calls for him and bossing him he actually showed some flair again.

Bullitt
28-06-08, 09:56 AM
Did he? Really?

Once Flood went off I seem to recall England going off the boil.

Cerlach121
28-06-08, 12:03 PM
I don&#39;t think they did, i remember one nice dummy and switch between Wilko and Cips. But then again i was probably looking through some rather thick beer goggles by that point lol.

I still think that if Wilko remembers that a rugby ball can be passed aswell as being held onto, he would make a deadly sub to bring on in the last third of the game, especially a Wilko in form.

Bullitt
28-06-08, 01:38 PM
he&#39;ll never be "in form" again. Wilkinson has a superb work ethic, but when he was "the best in the world" he was sitting in a comfy armchairbehind that legendary England pack with Mike Catt nursing any mistakes he made. The way he made constant mistakes for Newcastle is testamant to this.

Over the past couple of seasons, Flood has carried him only for the Tabloid favorate to take all the headlines.

Keeping him about is being far too nostalgic. He&#39;s shown he can&#39;t cut it any more at the top level and he&#39;s only good for pulling in crowds at Twickenham who know sod all about rugby - "ere&#39;, I saw that WILKinson t&#39;other day. Ee kicked it!"

gingergenius
28-06-08, 03:24 PM
he&#39;ll never be "in form" again. Wilkinson has a superb work ethic, but when he was "the best in the world" he was sitting in a comfy armchairbehind that legendary England pack with Mike Catt nursing any mistakes he made. The way he made constant mistakes for Newcastle is testamant to this.

Over the past couple of seasons, Flood has carried him only for the Tabloid favorate to take all the headlines.

Keeping him about is being far too nostalgic. He&#39;s shown he can&#39;t cut it any more at the top level and he&#39;s only good for pulling in crowds at Twickenham who know sod all about rugby - "ere&#39;, I saw that WILKinson t&#39;other day. Ee kicked it!"
[/b]

You spout subjective opinions as if they were gospel.

For starters, Mike Catt hardly played. In fact I can only ever remember him being a good England player during the years 2003 & 2007. The rest of the time he was a waste of space. The centre pairing was Greenwood and Tindall.

Next, if Wilkinson was so reliant on a good England pack, why was no other England fly half able to establish themselves? You&#39;re too harsh on him, accept that he was a great fly half, with a fantastic kicking and defensive game, with the ability to create chances in the backs (though that wasn&#39;t always in the gameplan). If you would have preferred a Michalak or Spencer at 10, so be it, but for what he offered JW was outstanding. Now, he&#39;s less consistent. No, I wouldn&#39;t pick him for England. Yes, I would keep him around the setup because he still has something to offer.

Bullitt
28-06-08, 04:01 PM
You&#39;ll find Grayson was well established back then and Barkley was also making a name for himself. You also remember Tim Stimpson? He made a good use for himself back then.

Don&#39;t give me this bull**** that there were no other 10&#39;s, or did you get your research from The Sun?

And on the Mike Catt front, may I point you towards the Wales match in the 2003 tournament.

cyRil
28-06-08, 05:26 PM
<div class='quotemain'>
he&#39;ll never be "in form" again. Wilkinson has a superb work ethic, but when he was "the best in the world" he was sitting in a comfy armchairbehind that legendary England pack with Mike Catt nursing any mistakes he made. The way he made constant mistakes for Newcastle is testamant to this.

Over the past couple of seasons, Flood has carried him only for the Tabloid favorate to take all the headlines.

Keeping him about is being far too nostalgic. He&#39;s shown he can&#39;t cut it any more at the top level and he&#39;s only good for pulling in crowds at Twickenham who know sod all about rugby - "ere&#39;, I saw that WILKinson t&#39;other day. Ee kicked it!"
[/b]

You spout subjective opinions as if they were gospel.

For starters, Mike Catt hardly played. In fact I can only ever remember him being a good England player during the years 2003 & 2007. The rest of the time he was a waste of space. The centre pairing was Greenwood and Tindall.

Next, if Wilkinson was so reliant on a good England pack, why was no other England fly half able to establish themselves? You&#39;re too harsh on him, accept that he was a great fly half, with a fantastic kicking and defensive game, with the ability to create chances in the backs (though that wasn&#39;t always in the gameplan). If you would have preferred a Michalak or Spencer at 10, so be it, but for what he offered JW was outstanding. Now, he&#39;s less consistent. No, I wouldn&#39;t pick him for England. Yes, I would keep him around the setup because he still has something to offer.
[/b][/quote]
Most of what you say I can agree with.
But without Catt coming on against us in 2003 you would have lost.

DMac
28-06-08, 06:46 PM
Well I just hope Cipriani&#39;s still on form after that ankle injury....



DMac

stormmaster1
30-06-08, 10:32 AM
<div class='quotemain'>
<div class='quotemain'>
he&#39;ll never be "in form" again. Wilkinson has a superb work ethic, but when he was "the best in the world" he was sitting in a comfy armchairbehind that legendary England pack with Mike Catt nursing any mistakes he made. The way he made constant mistakes for Newcastle is testamant to this.

Over the past couple of seasons, Flood has carried him only for the Tabloid favorate to take all the headlines.

Keeping him about is being far too nostalgic. He&#39;s shown he can&#39;t cut it any more at the top level and he&#39;s only good for pulling in crowds at Twickenham who know sod all about rugby - "ere&#39;, I saw that WILKinson t&#39;other day. Ee kicked it!"
[/b]

You spout subjective opinions as if they were gospel.

For starters, Mike Catt hardly played. In fact I can only ever remember him being a good England player during the years 2003 & 2007. The rest of the time he was a waste of space. The centre pairing was Greenwood and Tindall.

Next, if Wilkinson was so reliant on a good England pack, why was no other England fly half able to establish themselves? You&#39;re too harsh on him, accept that he was a great fly half, with a fantastic kicking and defensive game, with the ability to create chances in the backs (though that wasn&#39;t always in the gameplan). If you would have preferred a Michalak or Spencer at 10, so be it, but for what he offered JW was outstanding. Now, he&#39;s less consistent. No, I wouldn&#39;t pick him for England. Yes, I would keep him around the setup because he still has something to offer.
[/b][/quote]
Most of what you say I can agree with.
But without Catt coming on against us in 2003 you would have lost. [/b][/quote]



Wilko had a nightmare against Wales that day, but the rest of the team was good enough to carry him in the end. One poor game doesn&#39;t really mean anything i think.

gingergenius
30-06-08, 03:03 PM
You&#39;ll find Grayson was well established back then and Barkley was also making a name for himself. You also remember Tim Stimpson? He made a good use for himself back then.

Don&#39;t give me this bull**** that there were no other 10&#39;s, or did you get your research from The Sun?

And on the Mike Catt front, may I point you towards the Wales match in the 2003 tournament.
[/b]

so I said he was only a good England player in the years 2003 & 2007... <_<

Stimpson was a fullback from memory, and not a great one either. Matt Perry shoed him out the team easy.

Grayson was a decent flyhalf but nothing on Wilkinson. And Barkley isn&#39;t a fantastic 10 now so I don&#39;t see how he could have been any better pre 2003.

Who else? Hodgson? injured, and the only time I&#39;ve ever seen him play well for England was against Romania. Which says it all. Goode? Far too inconsistent. I&#39;ve seen him play some games this season where he&#39;s run things and looked world class. Then I&#39;ve seen him play others where he&#39;s missed kicks, fallen off tackles and been generally ****e. I&#39;m struggling to think of any more English 10s who were remotely capable of playing at international level...

Bullitt
30-06-08, 03:36 PM
Stimpson was mainly a full-back, however if you remember the infamous South Africa match of 2002, after Wilkinson crocked himself (Shock! Horror!) Stimpson came onto the field at 10 and played an absolute blinder.

Saying Grayson had nothing on Wilkinson is rubbish and you know it it. As a goal kicker, Larry remained constantly at 90% for nigh on a decade (edit: Thinking about it, during 2001/2002 Grayson was the England kicking coach), only missing out because he missed that half a yard of pace (which, interestingly, Wilkinson never had either). There certainly wasn&#39;t this huge gulf in talent between the pair as you suggest - Or are you also from the "Bracken was better then Dawson" camp?

Barkley looked to be coming good during the summer of 2001/2 (whichever year it was) when he made his debut and was touted as the next big thing worldwide. Sadly, his gob****e-come-footballer-come-thug attitude hindered his progress and he never turned out to be the player everybody hoped. His age and experience was also considered against him.

There weren&#39;t many/any others back then, and overall Wilkinson was probably *just about* the best overall for the job, but he is only remembered for kicking the ball... That "wonder-try" when there wasn&#39;t a full-back against the All Blacks was a one off (and if we were to single a player out, it was Ben Cohens efforts, especially in defense, which won that match anyway).

Rewind to 2003. Take Wilkinson off during the final when he injured himself early then replace him with Grayson. Larry plays with his head up and spins it right to Cohen who goes under the posts instead of left to Robinson who heads for the corner. Easy conversion, insurmountable lead, England still win.

Instead, Wilko scores a dramatic drop goal and forever will be talked up day-on-day to be so much better then he really was.

gingergenius
30-06-08, 06:09 PM
Stimpson was mainly a full-back, however if you remember the infamous South Africa match of 2002, after Wilkinson crocked himself (Shock! Horror!) Stimpson came onto the field at 10 and played an absolute blinder.

Saying Grayson had nothing on Wilkinson is rubbish and you know it it. As a goal kicker, Larry remained constantly at 90% for nigh on a decade (edit: Thinking about it, during 2001/2002 Grayson was the England kicking coach), only missing out because he missed that half a yard of pace (which, interestingly, Wilkinson never had either). There certainly wasn&#39;t this huge gulf in talent between the pair as you suggest - Or are you also from the "Bracken was better then Dawson" camp?

Barkley looked to be coming good during the summer of 2001/2 (whichever year it was) when he made his debut and was touted as the next big thing worldwide. Sadly, his gob****e-come-footballer-come-thug attitude hindered his progress and he never turned out to be the player everybody hoped. His age and experience was also considered against him.

There weren&#39;t many/any others back then, and overall Wilkinson was probably *just about* the best overall for the job, but he is only remembered for kicking the ball... That "wonder-try" when there wasn&#39;t a full-back against the All Blacks was a one off (and if we were to single a player out, it was Ben Cohens efforts, especially in defense, which won that match anyway).

Rewind to 2003. Take Wilkinson off during the final when he injured himself early then replace him with Grayson. Larry plays with his head up and spins it right to Cohen who goes under the posts instead of left to Robinson who heads for the corner. Easy conversion, insurmountable lead, England still win.

Instead, Wilko scores a dramatic drop goal and forever will be talked up day-on-day to be so much better then he really was.
[/b]

Gospel right there <_<

Bullitt
30-06-08, 08:13 PM
No sunshine, just facts.

stormmaster1
01-07-08, 08:02 AM
Instead, Wilko scores a dramatic drop goal and forever will be talked up day-on-day to be so much better then he really was



No sunshine, just facts. [/b]



Just facts. :P



great or not, Wilko was an integral part of a great English side. He contributes to the whole, and the whole was good enough to win a world cup. Right now, he wouldn&#39;t be part of the team, but he wasn&#39;t as bad as people are making out.

Bullitt
01-07-08, 08:13 AM
Maybe not, but he certainly wasn&#39;t nearly as good as the others make out either.

savundra92
14-07-08, 10:49 AM
Im sure a lot of you would say that Wilkinson is amazing. He has a brilliant boot; but so does Cipriani. Wilkinson is too slow and is getting older and Cipriani is young and is an exciting prospect for English rugby. What I dont like is the press raving about him. Nevertheless Wilkinson has contributed well to England massively

I would want Wilkinson to be first choice fly-half this november so he can finally play against all black dan carter. it will be battle of 10s. I know carter is better but they have never played each other representing their own country. Cipriani is returning from injury so he will only be playing for the saxons, for now. I wonder if wilkinson will retire at the end of the six nations to make room for danny and shane geraghty

stormmaster1
15-07-08, 10:04 AM
Im sure a lot of you would say that Wilkinson is amazing. He has a brilliant boot; but so does Cipriani. Wilkinson is too slow and is getting older and Cipriani is young and is an exciting prospect for English rugby. What I dont like is the press raving about him. Nevertheless Wilkinson has contributed well to England massively

I would want Wilkinson to be first choice fly-half this november so he can finally play against all black dan carter. it will be battle of 10s. I know carter is better but they have never played each other representing their own country. Cipriani is returning from injury so he will only be playing for the saxons, for now. I wonder if wilkinson will retire at the end of the six nations to make room for danny and shane geraghty [/b]



can&#39;t see Wilkinson retiring. Not sure i want him as our no10 on current form though.

Gavin
15-07-08, 03:23 PM
<div class='quotemain'> Im sure a lot of you would say that Wilkinson is amazing. He has a brilliant boot; but so does Cipriani. Wilkinson is too slow and is getting older and Cipriani is young and is an exciting prospect for English rugby. What I dont like is the press raving about him. Nevertheless Wilkinson has contributed well to England massively

I would want Wilkinson to be first choice fly-half this november so he can finally play against all black dan carter. it will be battle of 10s. I know carter is better but they have never played each other representing their own country. Cipriani is returning from injury so he will only be playing for the saxons, for now. I wonder if wilkinson will retire at the end of the six nations to make room for danny and shane geraghty [/b]



can&#39;t see Wilkinson retiring. Not sure i want him as our no10 on current form though.

[/b][/quote]

Jonny will never retire, he is like Peter Pan - never knows when to let the younger generation have a go.

Bullitt
15-07-08, 03:26 PM
:lol:

Thingimubob
15-07-08, 04:52 PM
Always felt sorry for Wilkinson, when England played well, it was all down to his brilliance according to the press, then they&#39;d slate him if England had a bad game. It seems to be either Hero or Zero with him. What I always liked about him was that he was quite modest, like I always found him to be a bit embarrassed by the fact that he got most of the glory for kicking that drop goal. And the fact that he never moved away from Newcastle (who definitely aren&#39;t the best team he could have played for back then) after the &#39;03 WC, despite the fact that plenty of the bigger clubs offered him plenty to move to them.
But yeah, teams shouldn&#39;t be picked on reputation (something that&#39;s happened for a fair bit in the England team over the last few years) but should be picked on form. So Cipriani will probably be the first choice no.10 for the Six Nations, depending on his form when he comes back from injury. Only thing I don&#39;t like is the hype in the press, and among the commentators and pundits (English one&#39;s anyway) about how Cipriani is the best in the world (OK, they&#39;re not quite saying that, but they&#39;re still going a bit OTT). I mean, it&#39;s things like the press going on about how Cipriani should be the first choice Lions 10 for next seasons tour, despite the fact that he&#39;d only won 3 or 4 caps, only one being a start. Yes, he was superb against Ireland, but what about Stephen Jones and James Hook? They were a massive part in steering Wales to the Grandslam? But then again, trust the press to be daft and OTT, I mean the Welsh press do it with James Hook (who i felt didn&#39;t step up to the level he should be at) and it&#39;s just annoying. Cipriani is a great talent, and is a very positive prospect for the future, I just wish the press wouldn&#39;t build him up so much, he could end up being tossed away for the next new talent like Jonny was.

ollybarkley
13-08-08, 05:14 AM
I think the jury is still out on Cipriani from the international perspective. As Charlie Hodgeson and Andy Goode have shown, a great season in the Premiership doesn&#39;t mean a player is going to be a good international player.

Wilko is still the best #10 we have at the moment, but I think Cipriani is our 10 going to WC11. I agree that Wilko performs better when there are people with fly-half skills outside him, like Catt, Greenwood, Barkley. I don&#39;t think Toby Flood is an international #10 either. I rate him more as a 12. I think of him as a younger version of the way Mike Catt is now, very intelligent and level headed, but not terribly explosive.