Cipriani handed summer tour target by Lancaster
January 10, 2014
Danny Cipriani is in the England coaches' thoughts, but will not play in the Six Nations © PA Photos
Cipriani is showing some signs of being back to his best at Sale Sharks and has been a key player in their team this season. After an indifferent 2012-13 campaign where Cipriani still made front-pages for his off-field exploits, he has knuckled down this term and was in the reckoning for a spot in the Six Nations squad.
But Lancaster currently sees Owen Farrell, George Ford and Stephen Myler as being ahead of Cipriani in the pecking order but he has offered the Sale Sharks fly-half a target of the summer tour.
"I had a long conversation with him on Wednesday," Lancaster said. "He has matured this season. There are still four areas I concentrate on - defence, game management, attack and kicking.
"He has been a lot more consistent, but he is not yet quite up there with George Ford and Stephen Myler. I want to leave him at Sale so he can keep making progress. He has to strive and his target has to be the New Zealand tour."
And Lancaster insisted Cipriani's omission from the squad was not due to his previous off-field exploits.
"I am only judging him as a rugby player," Lancaster added. "I have no other issues with him. I will sit down with him soon to let him know what he needs to do.
"I have seen elements of an X-factor on occasion in him but I also see it in George Ford. It is the whole package I concentrate on."
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