England deny Cipriani reports

England have denied that head coach Stuart Lancaster asked Sale to rest fly-half Danny Cipriani for their final game of the season against London Irish.

Danny Cipriani is expected to be recalled by England this summer
Danny Cipriani is expected to be recalled by England this summer

A report states Lancaster asked Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond to omit Cipriani from his squad for Saturday's 22-20 defeat at the Madejski Stadium.

It was suggested Lancaster wanted to avoid any risk to Cipriani ahead of the looming summer tour to New Zealand, with the 26-year-old likely to be recalled for the three-Test series.

"It's completely inaccurate to suggest Stuart Lancaster asked Sale Sharks to rest Danny Cipriani from the match," an England spokesperson said.

"Stuart has spent the last few weeks visiting all the directors of rugby/head coaches, including Steve Diamond, as part of a positive working relationship with the Premiership clubs, but he did not ask for Danny to be given this weekend off."

Cipriani won the last of his seven caps in 2008 only to lose his way amid concerns over his attitude and celebrity lifestyle.

However, he has repaired his reputation at Sale this season with his form key to their sixth-place finish in the Premiership just 12 months after flirting with relegation.