September 20, 2018 / 9:29 AM / 7 months ago

Cipriani out of England squad as Ashton, Tuilagi included

(Reuters) - Gloucester flyhalf Danny Cipriani has been left out of England’s training squad for next week’s training camp in Bristol, while Chris Ashton and Manu Tuilagi were included on the 36-player list, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) said on Thursday.

Rugby Union - Premiership - Bath Rugby v Gloucester Rugby - Recreation Ground, Bath, Britain - September 8, 2018 Gloucester Rugby's Danny Cipriani Action Images/Peter Cziborra

Cipriani has been in top form for his club this season, but has been left out by England coach Eddie Jones, who said the 30-year-old was currently England’s “third or fourth choice” fly-half.

Cipriani was convicted of common assault and resisting arrest, and fined a total of 4,000 pounds following an incident outside a nightclub during Gloucester’s pre-season tour in Jersey last month.

Jones said in the wake of that incident that the matter was closed and the player would be “judged on his rugby”, adding on Thursday that the decision to drop Cipriani from the squad was “100 percent on rugby grounds.”

“We have decided just to have two stand-offs (flyhalves)in this particular camp as we want them to get a lot of training time. (Cipriani) knows what he has to work on,” Jones added.

“He has as much opportunity as any other player inside or outside the squad (of playing at the World Cup in Japan).”

Leicester Tigers centre Tuilagi was recalled for the Sept. 23-25 camp, having last played for his country during the 2016 Six Nations.

"It's the first time in the three years I've been in England that Manu's been fit," England head coach Eddie Jones told the RFU website here

“He’s put together a series of games and we’re looking forward to him continuing on that run. He’s got the opportunity to come in and show us what he’s got.”

Sale Sharks winger Ashton retains his place in the squad even though he will not play a game this season before Jones is due to announce the players that will be involved in the autumn internationals on Oct. 18.

The 31-year-old was handed a seven-week ban last month after he was sent off for a tip tackle in a pre-season game against Castres.

England play South Africa, New Zealand, Japan and Australia at Twickenham in November.

Full training squad:

Forwards: Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Jamie George (Saracens), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), Maro Itoje (Saracens), George Kruis (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby), Michael Rhodes (Saracens), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Nick Schonert (Worcester Warriors), Brad Shields (Wasps), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs), Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons).

Backs: (16) Chris Ashton (Sale Sharks), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Care (Harlequins), Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Nathan Earle (Harlequins), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Leicester Tigers), Alex Lozowski (Saracens), Jonny May (Leicester Tigers), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Dan Robson (Wasps), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien and Jon Boyle

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