Lions coach Sir Ian McGeechan believes Danny Cipriani could be in the form of his life in the lead up to the next Lions tour.
Cipriani has signed for new Super 15 side the Melbourne Rebels and will leave for Australia later this year.
The move has seen the 22-year-old criticized for effectively putting his England career on the back burner but McGeechan believes the decision could pay dividends in the long run.
Although Cipriani is unlikely to be selected for the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand, his contract comes to an end a year before the Lions head Down Under.
And with first-hand knowledge of the southern hemisphere game and of the Australian psyche, Cipriani could be in a great position to take on the Wallabies with Britain and Ireland’s elite in 2013.
"I think it’ll be good for him because it’ll put him into a different environment where he can reassess his game," McGeechan, who coached Cipriani with London Wasps, told the Guardian.
"He will get space to develop and he’ll get very good guidance from Rod Macqueen. Two years down the line it could prove a huge plus for his development.
"It’s the sort of experience that’ll allow him to have a different view of what he’s doing.
"There’s no doubt about his talent but we forget he’s had two broken legs in 18 months.
"He’s still getting back to where he was. If he does that, everything else will look after itself."