Gloucester scrum-half Danny Cipriani believes he needed to perform a miracle to convince England head coach Eddie Jones to select him for the Rugby World Cup.
Despite steering England to victory over South Africa in Cape Town on his last appearance for the national team 15 months ago, the Premiership player of the year always sensed he was fighting an uphill battle
Asked if he was given a fair fight at World Cup selection, Cipriani said: “What is a fair crack of the whip? I can’t go in there demanding any time.
“It is just characters and it is just different people. Eddie is in a high-pressure situation being England coach and he has done a great job.
“He has put his faith in George Ford and Owen Farrell and they have done well for him.
“Going into a big competition I would have had to turn water into wine to really sway him. It would have been very difficult to do so.
“I can completely understand why he made his decision. Do I think it was the right decision? I don’t know. I am going to support England and hope they do great.”
He added: “I never went into the England camps with any expectation.
“Going into a big competition he has backed Ford and Faz for so long and they have brought him success.
“I knew I was on the back foot to try and do that so I went into it with no expectation. The only thing that I could do was enjoy it.
“Years ago going on an army camp would probably have been something I would have hated but my mindset was that I can only control my response.
“Our team ended up winning the trials and for me that was the personal growth within it.
“You want to be with England, you want to be in Japan but is it going to change me as a person? It is not.
“I’ve had the most amazing five or six weeks away (in California) and I wouldn’t change that.
“If I was picking the (England) team I would have picked myself, for sure, but so would everyone be doing that.
Congratulations to everyone announced in the 31 today. Great blend and balance. Let’s all get behind the squad!
— Danny Cipriani (@DannyCipriani87) August 12, 2019
“In terms of the (personal) accolades, it is so weird to be getting them in team sport because rugby is such a team sport.
“If you haven’t got a big pack or a pack going forward, it is very hard.
“There are times when packs have not been going forward and I can still do a bit, but it is difficult.
“So you’ve got to share those accolades. I am so happy to see Gloucester going forward the way they are.
“I get more joy out of seeing Ollie Thorley and the way he is and Willi Heinz going and getting the recognition he deserves.
“For me, awards are good for my ego, but I would rather go and see that.”
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