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TGtM Meets...Danny Cipriani
Fresh from signing a brand new two-year deal with Sale Sharks, England star Danny Cipriani sat down with Reece Chaplin to talk about his decision to stay, his performance this season and the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Did deciding to sign a new contract take a lot of thinking over?
Well you know there was a period, I said it was going to take time for me to make my decision, it wasn’t going to be based on just one or two things it was going to be a various amount of factors and you know the thing that swayed it is obviously got the opportunity to play for England but also if you look at the youngsters we have coming through here at the Sharks it is exciting for me to see that happening because I felt like that was me when I was younger and it’s probably the most talented bunch of youngsters in the Premiership.
You seem very settled in Manchester, what’s the appeal of the place?
I get on very well with everyone at this club, from day one you hear things about Steve Diamond and how difficult he may be but I’ve never found that, we’ve always got on and he’s always had to tell me to be in line or whatever it might be at any point the same as he has any player, so we got a good working relationship and it’s been an enjoyable three years.
What are your England ambitions at the moment?
I’ve really enjoyed my time at England in the last couple of weeks and it was exciting to come back to Sale. I’m also looking forward to going back to the England squad on Monday and hopefully I will be involved in the Ireland test week.
You’ve been through a lot in the two and a half years that you’ve been here; do you think from a professional point of view that you are an even better player now than when you first arrived?
Yeah it’s been a process, I’ve had very good guidance from people that have been in my corner a while now, it’s not just going to be one person’s doing and it has been a journey but I feel like I’m in a much stronger position than I was then and I guess I’ve had a lot of life experience since I was 18 years old and it’s going to serve me in good stead when it comes to those type of hard games.
Where are you in terms of confidence at the minute with rugby?
My confidence comes from the daily routine of training and making sure I’m trying every day to get better in training. You can’t ever take it for granted, you can’t ever just go out there finish and go back in you’ve always got to continue doing your extras and that’s something I have been very big on over the last two or three years and you know it’s important that I keep moving forward.
It’s easy to forget how young you were when you first started cause you’ve packed a lot in your career and done more than some do in their whole career. Do you think in the last 18 months you have played some of your best rugby and most consistent?
Definitely it’s been a different experience for me here, I was very fortunate to be a part of an ageing Wasps side but with a lot of international players so every game I played on the front foot and didn’t know how to play on the back foot so when I had my second stint with England I was on the back foot I didn’t really know how to do it and I didn’t know how to manage managers or man management people as well as I did. I always thought it would be the same as it was at Wasps but it wasn’t and this is what Steve Diamond has taught me.
There’s expectancy on you to perform now, how do you handle that pressure?
I think it’s exciting because I’m still in a position where I am still trying to reach the top, I think the challenge is when you’re at the top, it’s staying great and going from great to great and that’s something I talk about with different people but I’m still fighting for the top and I’ve got that little fire in my belly so there’s no hesitation for me to stop and to keep going. It’s an exciting challenge over the next six months and I just got to keep my head down and keep working.
2015 is World Cup year and it’s been a great year for you so far, the best might be to yet come?
There’s a matter of us trying to make sure we keep fighting up that table and top four is a great result and top six is exactly what we are looking for, that’s what I got to think about when I’m at Sale and when I’m at England It’s about me to keep learning and to keep trying to perform at any chance I get. I know it’s cliché but you got to take every day as it comes and you got to make sure every day you are doing the right things.
By Reece Chaplin
Sale Sharks RFC