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Thursday 8 December 2016

Danny Cipriani: I still want to play for England and I have a good relationship with Mike Catt

England's Danny Cipriani
England's Danny Cipriani

Danny Cipriani says he still dreams of playing for England again and that he has a "good working relationship" with national team assistant Mike Catt.

Cipriani was not part of England's failed World Cup campaign but he hit the news this week when reports emerged of a pre-tournament training ground bust-up with Red Rose attacking skills coach Catt.

England have played down what they described as a "robust conversation" which came about following a "misunderstanding", and Cipriani also appears to have drawn a line under the incident as well.

READ MORE: England deny Danny Cipriani row nearly led to mutiny

The Sale fly-half wrote in his column in The Sun: "There has been a lot said about a training ground incident I had with Mike Catt this week when I was with England.

"But I respect what happens in the England camp and what goes on there, stays there.

"We spoke and addressed the issue the next day and we have a good working relationship."

The flashpoint happened the day before England's World Cup squad was officially announced in August, with Cipriani discovering the previous evening that he was to be omitted from the final 31 with George Ford and Owen Farrell getting the nods.

England would go on to suffer World Cup ignominy as the hosts were knocked out before the end of the group stages following back-to-back defeats to Wales and Australia.

That has led to speculation about the futures of the England coaching team and some of the team, but Cipriani says there is no need to panic and has called for unity.

The 27-year-old is also hoping he can push his claims for an international recall ahead of the Six Nations.

"We now need to regroup and rebuild. Whatever happens, we need to move forward as one now," he wrote.

"I don't think there's a reason to panic and think that the English game is doomed. There are still a lot of world-class players in that England squad.

He added: "For me, playing for England is still my dream.

"The commitment and drive to put on the white shirt is still there. Everyone is going to go out there and put their hands up and say 'pick me'.

"Sale Sharks are now my priority along with getting stuck into the season. If I play well for them, that's all I can do to be selected for the Six Nations squad."

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