Cipriani earns England recall

Sale Sharks flyhalf Danny Cipriani has been included in Stuart Lancaster's 34-man training squad ahead of the Six Nations.

The 27-year-old last featured during England's tour to New Zealand in June, but missed out on the November Tests with Owen Farrell, George Ford and Stephen Myler, who are also named in the squad, preferred.

The selection offers the talented Cipriani a World Cup lifeline, after spending six years in the international wilderness before his recall last year.

'Danny's not been far away at all from things since the New Zealand tour. When it came down to that squad for the Autumn internationals we felt that Stephen Myler just had the edge on him,' said Lancaster on his decision.

'Since then, he's improved his game and worked hard. We want to create the opportunity for him and Stephen to come in together. Both Bath and Northampton have got big games on Sunday. It's a good chance for Danny to come in and put a marker down.'

Lancaster has also raised a few eyebrows with the selection of Nick Easter at 34 years of age. The Harlequins No 8 won the last of his 47 caps at the 2011 World Cup, but has been rewarded for his club form and he replaces Ben Morgan, who broke his leg two weeks ago.

Northampton Saints lock Courtney Lawes is another who misses out through injury, as he recovers from minor ankle surgery.

Tom Croft, Chris Ashton and Marland Yarde have all been named in the Saxons squad alongside rugby league convert Sam Burgess and promising lock Maro Itoje, who are included for the first time.

'Looking at both squads, it is obvious that there is a lot of depth and competition in every position, which is what we want,' said Lancaster.

'Many players are putting their hand up in the Premiership and Europe and they have a chance to impress in training as we build towards the games against Wales and the Wolfhounds.'

'We will use the four-day training camp and the Saxons game to narrow down selection as we lead into the opening game against Wales.'

England Squad:

Forwards – Dave Attwood (Bath Rugby), Calum Clark (Northampton Saints), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Alex Corbisiero (Northampton Saints), Nick Easter (Harlequins), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (Wasps), Graham Kitchener (Leicester Tigers), George Kruis (Saracens), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, captain), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), David Wilson (Bath Rugby), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints), Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

Backs – Brad Barritt (Saracens), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints), Danny Care (Harlequins), Danny Cipriani (Sale Sharks), Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Bath Rugby), Alex Goode (Saracens), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby), Stephen Myler (Northampton Saints), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

England Saxons Squad:

Forwards – Kieran Brookes (Newcastle Falcons), Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers), Christian Day (Northampton Saints), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), Dave Ewers (Exeter Chiefs), Matt Garvey (Bath Rugby), Ross Harrison (Sale Sharks), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Matt Kvesic (Gloucester Rugby), Matt Mullan (Wasps), Henry Thomas (Bath Rugby), Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs), Alex Waller (Northampton Saints), Rob Webber (Bath Rugby).

Backs – Chris Ashton (Saracens), Sam Burgess (Bath Rugby), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Ollie Devoto (Bath Rugby), Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints, captain), Chris Pennell (Worcester Warriors), Joe Simpson (Wasps), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Marland Yarde (Harlequins), Christian Wade (Wasps).

Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images