Barkley sticking by Cipriani after injury

It was Olly Barkley’s tackle that accidentally put Danny Cipriani out of England action for the rest of the year and on Monday night he spoke of his horror over the shattering consequences.

Cipriani was taken from the field and went into surgery in a London hospital where they worked on a ankle fracture and dislocation which was the result of a perfectly legitimate tackle by Olly Barkley.

When Cipriani came to from the surgery the Bath centre Barkley was waiting to see him.

“It was definitely the most horrific thing I have seen on a rugby pitch,” said Barkley in the Daily Mail.

“It was so far out of place that, at first, Danny didn’t think it was his leg.”

“He had looked down at his foot just after it happened and it must have put him in a massive state of shock. It looked horrendous and put a huge cloud over the remainder of the match.

“What made it all the more upsetting was that, apart from everything else, Danny is a mate.

“I’d been looking forward to the chance of playing alongside him for England in New Zealand next month. It’s a huge shame for Danny and a huge shame for England.

“I’m sad for Danny, sad for England and I wanted to go to tell him how sorry I am that it happened. If that had been me, I would have appreciated a visit from one of my mates.”

When the incident happened Wasps were in front and Barkley made a routine tackle, assisted by his fellow centre Alex Crockett.

“I’m not sorry for the tackle because it was perfectly normal and there was no malice whatsoever,” added Barkley.

“It was a complete accident. Danny went for the gap and I went to tackle him, the sort of thing which happens hundreds of times in any match.

“I heard something go. It’s not a very nice thing to hear or see. It’s an incident which will stay with you for quite a while. Nobody would wish that on his worst enemy. Alex was quite severely affected by it. He went very quiet and felt a bit queasy.”

The end result of the accident is that Cipriani has been ruled out the immediate tour of New Zealand and he is not expected to be back until possibly as far away as the start of the Six Nations next February.

Wasps estimate that Cipriani will be fully fit in six months and Margo Wells, the player’s fitness coach, is adamant that the most exciting player of his generation will be back, ‘better, fitter and stronger than ever’.

Barkley added: “Danny was quite drowsy when I saw him but the specialist was there and everything has gone as well as it could have gone.

“It’s all back in place. It will take a while but it will come right in the end. Players have come back from these kind of injuries, even if they do take a long time.”

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