In his autobiography, ‘Eddie Jones: My Life and Rugby’, the Australian recalled his first impressions of Danny Cipriani.
“I knew Cipriani was an outstanding talent in club rugby,” said Jones.
“I had coached Saracens against Wasps, when he was still a teenager, and Cipriani made the difference in that game. He had brilliant feet, a good eye for space and reasonable skills, so he always looked like he was going to be a very good player.
Jones added: “The Rebels struggled and, in 2011 and 2012, Cipriani was terrible. He looked to have lost his way completely. He was so bad that I thought there would be no way back for him.”
Despite being crowned the double Premiership Player of the Season for his scintillating performances in his first season at Gloucester, Cipriani was overlooked after a nightclub incident during the pre-season tour to Jersey that saw him plead guilty for common assault and resisting arrest.
Jones said: “I was not too surprised or let down. When a player consistently does stupid things, you don’t expect him to change much.”
“But the incident in Jersey did not have any bearing on my future selection. I just thought Farrell and Ford were both better players at Test level than Cipriani.
“From Danny’s perspective his cause was done more damage when he played for Gloucester against Saracens. It was billed as a showdown between Farrell and Cipriani, but it was no contest. Saracens and Farrell were dominant.”
DANNY CIPRIANI FACTS
Here’s 10 things you didn’t know about Gloucester fly-half Danny Cipriani that might surprise you…
1. Sporting talent
A keen all-round sportsman, Cipriani played junior football for Queens Park Rangers and was offered youth terms by Reading. He also played schoolboy cricket for Berkshire and Oxfordshire. Cipriani was invited to join Surrey County Cricket Club as a batsman. He also played squash at county level
2. First rugby club
He first played club rugby at Rosslyn Park in Roehampton, where he developed his passion for the game.
The fly-half is mixed-race; his father is Afro-Trinidadian with some Italian heritage while his mother is English. Cipriani’s father, Jay, and his mother, Anne, separated soon after his birth. Although Jay returned to Trinidad, Cipriani was able to remain in contact with him.