DANNY CIPRIANI’S World Cup dream is hanging by a thread after he was dropped from England’s training squad.
And in a stunning lack of respect for the reigning Premiership and Rugby Players’ Association player-of-the-year, England boss Eddie Jones did not give a single explanation behind his shock axing.
The 31-year-old Gloucester playmaker was in the dark over his omission as 38 players headed to train in sweltering 34 degree heat in Italy for the next 12 days.
Fly-half Cipriani was named in the official 35-man World Cup squad announced by Aussie boss Jones just 18 days ago.
However, after oddly being sent for reconditioning and fitness work last week Cips will train for just one of the four weeks before England play Wales in their first Japan 2019 warm-up game on Sunday, August 11.
DAN AND OUT
After jetting to Treviso, Jones said: “Selection is absolutely challenging, we have left some good players doing work at their clubs and they must be ready if called up.”
Though fed-up fans were furious over the poor treatment of Gloucester star Cipriani as they slammed the call as baffling, disgraceful, disgusting and embarrassing.
One conspiracy theory behind Cipriani’s latest snub is that Jones will only use him as a standby player at the World Cup – so he will have to be ready when is called upon at any time.
The RFU insist that Cipriani was left out to keep the squad numbers low and that he will continue to work on an England training plan back at his club.
Prop Ben Moon was also dropped with Joe Marler coming out of international retirement earlier this month.
And there was yet another chance for veteran Mike Brown to stake his claim as the 33-year-old full-back joined Harlequins teammate Joe Marchant in getting a late call.
Jones added: “Treviso is a hard yards camp with conditions similar to Tokyo.
“Team training will be about being adaptable and off the field enjoying each other’s company.”
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 85 caps)
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 11 caps)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 10 caps)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 10 caps)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 9 caps)
Jamie George (Saracens, 37 caps)
Maro Itoje (Saracens, 27 caps)
George Kruis (Saracens, 32 caps)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 58 caps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 71 caps)
Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Joe Marler (Harlequins, 59 caps)
Brad Shields (Wasps, 8 caps)
Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 22 caps)
Jack Singleton (Saracens, uncapped)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 9 caps)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 41 caps)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 53 caps)
Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 17 caps)
Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons / Sale Sharks, 13 caps)
Mike Brown (Harlequins, 72 caps)
Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 4 caps)
Elliot Daly (Saracens, 30 caps)
Owen Farrell (Saracens, 70 caps)
George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 55 caps)
Piers Francis (Northampton Saints, 4 caps)
Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby, uncapped)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 40 caps)
Joe Marchant (Harlequins, uncapped)
Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 45 caps)
Ruaridh McConnochie (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 33 caps)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 22 caps)
Ben Spencer (Saracens, 3 caps)
Ben Te’o (unattached, 18 caps)
Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 32 caps)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 33 caps)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 85 caps)