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Last Updated: 14/08/19 10:39pm
Scrum-half Willi Heinz has credited Gloucester teammate Danny Cipriani for helping him to stand out after his inclusion in England’s squad for the World Cup.
New Zealand-born Heinz will travel to Japan next month as part of Eddie Jones’ 31-player squad, which saw an injection of new blood, while half-back partner Cipriani missed out.
Heinz, who will provide cover to first choice Ben Youngs, only made his Test debut in Sunday’s World Cup warm-up victory against Wales and has highlighted the influence of the Premiership player of the season.
“The detail and the confidence he brought to our attack led to us standing out a bit more”
Willi Heinz on Danny Cipriani
“I think the quality that Danny brought to Gloucester obviously helped all of us,” Heinz said.
“There were a number of guys who had really good seasons at Gloucester and probably the detail and the confidence he brought to our attack led to us standing out a bit more.
Wales vs England
August 17, 2019, 1:15pm
“Danny really helped my game and put a lot of pressure on me to deliver good ball for the team.
“He’s a really good thinker of the game and understands what it takes to perform at the highest level.”
Jones has only named two scrum-halves in the travelling party, while Leicester fly-half George Ford, who captained England at Twickenham on the weekend, is ready to embrace.
“I will be confident to play there if needed. I hope Owen Farrell is demanding outside me – I’ll give him the ball!” Ford said.
“Under Eddie’s regime I have trained there quite a bit to be honest, probably without me knowing it too much to be fair.
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“There have been fallow weeks in the Six Nations where I have spent all week training at nine.
“And quite a lot sometimes to the point that I have thought, ‘am I being transformed into a scrum-half here?’.
“Game-wise it has only arisen a couple of times if there has been a yellow card or something.
“Based on the training I have done I have really enjoyed it. You are right in the thick of it, and have to be very fit to keep up with play.”