Danny Cipriani’s hopes of making England’s World Cup squad appear to be in jeopardy after the fly-half was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving after a 5am car crash on Monday.
Cipriani was reportedly breathalysed after a collision in Chelsea, west London, and taken to a nearby police station before being released on bail. On Sunday the 27-year-old scored two tries for England in a man-of-the-match performance against the Barbarians at Twickenham.
A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police said: “Police were called at approximately 5.15am on Monday, 1 June, to reports of two cars in collision in Imperial Road, SW6. No reports of any injuries.
“The cars involved were a silver Toyota Prius and a black Mercedes C63. The driver of the Mercedes, a 27-year-old man, was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving.
“He was taken to a west London police station where he was later released on police bail. Return date to be confirmed.”
Cipriani’s arrest is a blow to the England head coach, Stuart Lancaster, who had singled the Sale No10 out for praise for his performance at Twickenham. It comes less than three weeks after Manu Tuilagi’s conviction for assaulting two female police officers and a taxi driver, and Lancaster spent last Friday explaining his decision to drop Dylan Hartley from England’s 50-man World Cup training squad after the hooker was banned for four weeks for a headbutt in Northampton’s defeat by Saracens.
England’s 73-12 victory over the Barbarians provided a boost for Lancaster before England’s hosting of the World Cup later this year. The match was only Cipriani’s second start for England under Lancaster, having ended a six-year international exile against New Zealand last summer, and had seemingly enhanced his hopes of being selected in the 31-man World Cup squad. After the victory the coach had said: “He has learned a lot about discipline from Sale this year, so he has been a lot more controlled and composed in games.”
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