LONDON, United Kingdom, Jul 22 – Fly-half Danny Cipriani’s chances of going to the World Cup with England are fading after he was omitted from a 38-man training squad heading to Italy.
England head coach Eddie Jones will name his final squad of 31 on August 12.
However, Cipriani’s hopes of convincing Jones to take three fly-halves or leapfrogging George Ford in the pecking order behind Owen Farrell appear slim barring injuries to others.
“Selection is absolutely challenging, we have left some good players doing work at their clubs and they must be ready if called up,” Jones said.
“Treviso is a hard yards camp with conditions similar to Tokyo. Team training will be about being adaptable and off the field enjoying each other’s company.”
Cipriani won English Premiership player of the year awards for his starring role for Gloucester last season.
However, the last of his 16 Tests for England came against South Africa in June last year and Jones has remained unconvinced of his ability to shine on the international stage.
Cipriani, who has already had one dose of World Cup heartbreak when he missed out on the final squad in 2015, remains a figure who divides rugby opinion.
While some see him as a mercurial playmaker who can turn games, others view him as a luxury, unlikely to gel with the Eddie Jones’ ethos and style of play.
England will return from their training camp in Treviso on August 2 and will play four warm-up internationals against Wales home and away, Ireland and Italy before opening their World Cup campaign in Japan against Tonga on September 22.