Rugby player Danny Cipriani has accused England captain Owen Farrell and other team members of running the national team like a “mafia” during the 2015 World Cup. Cipriani’s explosive claims have sparked a row with coach Mike Catt.
In an interview, Cipriani spoke candidly about his experiences during the 2015 World Cup, where he felt that certain players, including Farrell, had too much control over the team. He described their behavior as resembling that of a “mafia,” suggesting that they were making decisions without consulting the coaching staff.
Cipriani specifically mentioned an incident during the tournament when he was left out of the squad for a crucial game against Wales. He believed that Farrell and other senior players had influenced the decision, despite the coaching staff wanting to include him. This incident, according to Cipriani, was indicative of the toxic atmosphere within the team.
The rugby player also criticized coach Mike Catt for not standing up to the influential players and allowing them to dictate team selection. Cipriani claimed that Catt lacked the authority to challenge the senior players and make independent decisions.
Catt, who is currently part of the Ireland coaching set-up, responded to Cipriani’s accusations by stating that he had always acted in the best interests of the team and denied any interference from the players. He emphasized the importance of unity within the squad and dismissed Cipriani’s claims as unfounded.
Cipriani’s revelations have reignited discussions about the culture within the England rugby team during the 2015 World Cup. The tournament was widely regarded as a failure for England, as they were knocked out in the group stages, becoming the first host nation to suffer such an early exit.
It remains to be seen how these allegations will impact the relationship between Cipriani and Farrell, as well as the wider perception of the England team. The controversy surrounding Cipriani’s claims highlights the challenges faced by coaches in managing player dynamics and maintaining a harmonious team environment.