Davies: Henson shouldn’t start

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Davies: Henson shouldn’t start

Wales legend Jonathan Davies believes Gavin Henson should be phased back gradually into the starting line-up.

Henson missed Wales’ first two Six Nations fixtures through injury, but is likely to be available for their match against France in a fortnight. However, Davies has his reservations about slotting him straight back into the mix.

“I don’t think I would start him now, because they are going well,” Davies said.

“Gavin has said he was a little short of match practice going into the Six Nations. He needs to play and even then, the centre partnership is going really well. Do we put him on the bench? That would be hard on [replacement] Andrew Bishop.”

Sackey sees progress

England winger Paul Sackey believes England are on the path to rediscovering their best form.

England lost 23-15 to Wales in Cardiff on Saturday, but despite the result Sackey insisted they were improving.

“I think we’re on the right track. We gave the Welsh a good test, and if we’d had some luck, it might have been a different story,” he said. “If we can keep that intensity up, we should be there or thereabouts soon.”

Sackey added that the sin-binning of two England players had a massive impact on their chances of an upset.

“It’s hard enough coming down to Wales, where they’re so confident at the moment – and it’s even harder get a result when you’re losing men every five minutes,” he said.

“It was a big ask for us anyway with 15 men, and going down to 14 made it an even bigger task.

“The commitment and the courage from the boys, playing for 14 men for long periods of the game, was very positive, but the result was very disappointing for us. If we can keep 15 men on the field, we might be able to get a result.”

McGeechan backs Cipriani

Wasps director of rugby Ian McGeechan is backing Danny Cipriani for an England recall after he kicked 21 points during the 36-29 win over the Leicester Tigers.

The 21-year-old was dropped by Martin Johnson after struggling to impose himself against southern hemisphere opposition at the end of last year.

However, those caps came just after the youngster returned from a serious ankle injury and McGeechan, who will coach the British and Irish Lions on their tour of South Africa later this year, says Cipriani is now starting to rediscover his form.

“I’ll be very surprised if he is not back in an England jersey by the end of the Six Nations,” said McGeechan.

“I think you’ve got to be careful not to underestimate the size of that injury. Maybe some expectations were higher than they should have been. Now he is starting to shape up again. He’s been good in training this week and he was good against Leicester.

“I’m very pleased. He put a lot into the match and he was pretty physical. He put himself on the front line and the players appreciate that. He will always do things that lift a team.”

This thread will be updated throughout the day.