It has been confirmed by the World Cup hosts that a flashpoint erupted between the fly-half and attacking skills coach on the day before the squad was announced in August.
Cipriani was disappointed at having learned the previous evening that he was to be omitted from the final 31 after George Ford and Owen Farrell were selected as the playmakers-in-chief. When the 26-year-old failed to perform a drill in the manner requested by Catt, a row ensued. It’s understood that Catt twice told Cipriani: “I will end your career”.
“Mike’s only intention was only to get the best of the player as he does for all of the players. Both shook hands afterwards,” said an RFU spokesman
England crashed out of the World Cup with a 33-13 defeat to Australia at Twickenham on Saturday. Yesterday, head coach Stuart Lancaster hit back at claims that backs coach Andy Farrell had too much influence over selection and tactics, particular in the recall of his son Owen at the expense of George Ford against Wales and Australia.
“To say there’s a bias in selection is absolutely incorrect and completely unfair on the integrity of Andy Farrell, who I hold in the highest regard,” said Lancaster.