Sir Clive Woodward names the 'incredible' wasted talent who should be England legend - Ruck

Sir Clive Woodward names the ‘incredible’ wasted talent who should be England legend

Sir Clive Woodward has revealed that Danny Cipriani is the greatest talent he ever saw who failed to live up to his potential.

During his tenure as Head Coach England moved from 6th in the world to being the number one ranked team, winning every trophy an England team can win.

Woodward coached some of rugby’s all-time greats with England and the Lions, but ranks the controversial number 10 above most.

The fly-half had a chance to break into the England first team under Martin Johnson in the late naughties but Cipriani explained he struggled to bridge the gap between Premiership and International rugby.

“On talent and skill, Cipriani should have been in the team the last ten years,” said Woodward. “He was the person to come in and take over from [Jonny] Wilkinson, he was the man ready to go.

“He is the only English number 10 of the past 20 years who, if I’d been coach and he had been up for selection at the same time as Jonny, could have caused big selection headaches,

“His skill-set was so complete. He posed an attacking threat with ball in hand and has a superb kicking game and world-class distribution.

“I think Wilkinson would have got the nod over him in the end but the fact I even mention them in the same breath shows how highly I rate Cipriani.

“He just seemed to be a person where coaches didn’t want to talk to [him], and he was the guy you’d want to be absolutely close to and almost build the team around him.”

DID YOU KNOW? Woodward’s playing career began with Harlequins in 1974 before switching to Leicester in 1979 following a spell at Loughborough University

Sir Clive Woodward’s FIVE most talented players he’s ever seen

#4. Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)

Woodward wrote: “In the Grand Slam game in 2003, we worked on a plan to man-mark him with three players, so the tackler was not exposed by O’Driscoll’s footwork and pace in a one-on-one situation.

“That’s how big a threat we believed he was – he needed three men to handle him. Ireland were going for a Grand Slam, but none of the players around Brian were in the same league.

“Whenever he had the ball we wanted one player opposite him and one man either side – it would usually be Wilkinson, Will Greenwood and Mike Tindall.”