Cipriani out of Saxons after bereavement

DANNY CIPRIANI has pulled out of the England Saxons squad for Sunday’s game with Ireland A after suffering a family bereavement.

The Wasps fly-half was looking to kick-start his international career with a run-out in the Bath friendly but has been granted leave by Rugby Football Union chiefs after losing a close relative.

Northampton’s Shane Geraghty, who turned out for England in the autumn, will replace him at No10.

An RFU statement confirmed: “Danny has the full support of the Saxons coaches and management as well as all at London Wasps through this difficult time.”

Geraghty is one of four senior internationals named in Stuart Lancaster’s starting line-up. London Irish hooker David Paice and Gloucester prop Paul Doran-Jones team up in the front row, while Harlequins’ David Strettle returns from injury on the wing.

Coach Lancaster said: “We have a young squad full of quality players and a good mix of experience. I’m sure they will rise to a challenging Ireland A squad.”