Cipriani gives Geraghty heart

Danny Cipriani's meteoric rise with England has left Shane Geraghty frustrated yet inspired. [more]

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Danny Cipriani’s meteoric rise with England has left Shane Geraghty frustrated yet inspired.

Geraghty made a spectacular debut against France in last year’s RBS 6 Nations but has been restricted to just two caps thanks to a succession of injuries.

Wasps sensation Cipriani has since established himself as the most exciting prospect in English rugby and is in line to start at fly-half during the summer tour to New Zealand.

But while Geraghty has frequently been a helpless spectator from the sidelines, the 21-year-old London Irish star insists he is exhilarated by the impact players like Cipriani are making.

He said: "It’s difficult watching the progress of one of your rivals when you’re injured.

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"You can’t do anything about it – you can’t show people that you’re a good rugby player as well.

"I’ve known Danny was coming along for a while because I played with him at the national academy.

"That’s partly why I chose to play for England over Ireland because I knew the future was in good hands with players like that coming through."

Both Cipriani and Geraghty will benefit from the shoulder injury that has ruled Jonny Wilkinson out of the two Tests against the All Blacks.

And Geraghty’s international claims will be further assisted by his participation in his club’s Heineken Cup semi-final against Toulouse at Twickenham on Saturday.

It is a big-match occasion that could enhance his growing reputation, especially with the Exiles’ attacking philosophy playing to his own strengths.

He said: "When our director of rugby Brian Smith arrived, the whole mindset of the team changed. He brought an Australian style whereby we attack from our own 22 if it’s on.

"People say it’s risky but it’s a clever way to play – players have their heads up and make the decisions that matter.

"London Irish haven’t been in the semi-finals before and these are the type of games you want to start and play well in.

"It’s a great opportunity to prove yourself to your fans and team-mates."

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