England legend Martin Johnson has played down Danny Cipriani’s Rugby World Cup chances, suggesting that Eddie Jones has already made his mind up on the half-backs he intends to take to Japan.

Despite a series of impressive displays for Gloucester this season, Cipriani was once again snubbed by Jones for the recent Six Nations campaign.

Already behind first-choice duo Owen Farrell and George Ford in the pecking order, the final blow for the 31-year-old came when Harlequins youngster Marcus Smith was called up as injury cover for the final Six Nations game against Scotland.

England’s second-half struggles at Twickenham – the Red Rose surrendered a 31-point lead to eventually draw 38-38– had seemingly reopened the debate around fly-half options for Japan, with some supporters calling for Cipriani to be given one last chance to work his way into contention.

But Johnson, however, believes Jones is likely to go in a different direction entirely.

"Eddie Jones won't drop Farrell at any point for Cipriani. I don't think so,” said Johnson. “No, I don't think that's happening,

"Henry Slade has played pretty well after showing promise, Jonny May has played some of his best rugby at Test match level.

“Elliot Daly has looked very, very good at that level. [Joe] Cokanasiga has got a lot of potential in him.

“I don't think Cipriani is coming out of the woodwork to play for England in the World Cup.

"The good thing from England's point of view is that they've had some players come in and play well. Maybe they've got a little bit more depth now.

“If you can get everyone fit, they probably don't all fit on the same plane. Some good guys will miss out.

"You don't want people looking comfortable, you want that competition."

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