Tuesday 25 June 2019

'He wouldn't ever be a part of our team' - Adam Ashley-Cooper hits back at Danny Cipriani

Adam Ashley-Cooper of Australia speaks to the media following the Australia Captain's Run ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool A match against England at Twickenham
Adam Ashley-Cooper of Australia speaks to the media following the Australia Captain's Run ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool A match against England at Twickenham

Duncan Bech

Adam Ashley-Cooper has responded to Danny Cipriani's claim that not a single Australian would be good enough for England's team by mocking the fly-half's vanity.

Cipriani invited attention on to Stuart Lancaster's men on the eve of their critical showdown with the Wallabies, a match that will determine whether the hosts survive in their own World Cup.

"Not one Australian would get into that England team right now," said Cipriani, who was part of Lancaster's training squad for the tournament before being jettisoned at the final round of cuts.

Read more: Danny Cipriani believes not one Aussie would make England XV and slams Gordon D'Arcy

Ashley-Cooper, who starts on the right wing at Twickenham, has reacted by declaring Cipriani would not be considered by the Wallabies.

"It's just nice that Danny is talking about someone other than himself," Ashley-Cooper told Press Association Sport.

"He's a good bloke and I enjoy his selfies a lot. He can say what he likes, he wouldn't ever be a part of our team."

Australia have also come under fire from England's World Cup-winning mastermind Sir Clive Woodward, who insisted they are "not the brightest team". Wallaby coach Michael Cheika laughed off the barb.

"Mr Woodward's right. I only got 300 out of 500 in my high school certificate," Cheika said.

"My mother wasn't happy with the results either, I can assure you. She begged me to study harder and somehow I got through, I don't know how. Fluked it, I suppose.

"Sometimes it's not intelligence but emotional intelligence that helps in this game. It's not the IQ, it's the EQ. So hopefully we've got a bit of EQ amongst us.

"We're doing our best for our country. I understand it's all a bit of fun and games, a bit of a snipe here and a snipe there, so I'm pretty comfortable with all that stuff."

Australia conducted their captain's run at Twickenham to the sound of ACDC's 'Thunderstruck' playing on the stadium speakers.

"I'm not sure how the song came about. One of the coaches, Stephen Larkham, who's a slightly random type of fellow, just decided to turn it on at training one day earlier this week," Cheika said.

"I didn't know much about it, I had to ask him about the song, it wouldn't always be my style of music, but I've come to love it now.

"It's just a bit of fun, it gets the players having a bit of a laugh. We want to enjoy our time playing the game.

"We know the pain and how difficult the game's going to be so we just want to have a bit of fun as well."

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