TWICKENHAM, London -- This is no England recall for Danny Cipriani, he is being offered a chance to prove to Eddie Jones that he is the country's best No. 10 after another impressive domestic season.
Cipriani has been the standout fly-half in the Aviva Premiership this term, but club form has seldom translated into international opportunity for the mercurial playmaker. He has 14 caps to his name -- the last coming in August 2015 -- but those are from a previous life.
His last Test start was in November 2008, some 3,456 days ago, while his 14th and final England appearance was a 17-minute cameo from the bench under Stuart Lancaster. He impressed but was still left out of the Rugby World Cup squad.
Under Jones he had one brief chance at a Brighton training week in May 2016, but it did not lead to an invitation to the top table at England's traditional base in Bagshot. But as England head to South Africa with some 20 players missing, opportunity knocks for Cipriani.
"He hasn't had a recall -- I never picked him," Jones said of Cipriani's return to the fold. "So I've picked him for the first time, I've watched him play closely and he deserves an opportunity. He's done some things I've asked him to do in games, and I'm happy to give him the opportunity."
Jones clearly disregards that call up to the Brighton training squad two years back as picking him, so this is now another level up for the fly-half who will be without a club next month as he weighs up his options after Wasps.
Cipriani's talent has never been in doubt, but some have questioned his temperament. Back in September 2016, Jones said Cipriani was the sort of player who would either be the first choice fly-half in the country, or not picked at all. Now his role has been described as a "player in the squad [who] has a role to do".
"Life is full of contradictions and three games ago I was the best thing that ever happened to English rugby and now I am the worst thing that ever happened to English rugby," Jones said. "You [the media] are allowed to be contradictory and so I am allowed. He can add value to the squad at this stage."
Jones hinted at the possibility of Cipriani being used at fullback, challenging him to be the best at fly-half or at No. 15 but he will face competition from Cameron Redpath, 18. Redpath, son of ex-Scotland international Bryan, was just eight when Cipriani started for England back in 2008 but Jones likes what he has seen from the Sale Sharks back despite him having not yet played Premiership rugby.
"Cameron is an exciting young player with great potential to play for England," Jones said. "He has lovely skills, runs straight, good catch and pass skills, and nice feel for the game. He is an exciting player for us."
Redpath is one of eight uncapped players in the 34-man squad, with Brad Shields, the Hurricanes captain, also included. Back row Shields -- who qualifies for England through his parents -- joins Wasps in the summer and the RFU has utilised World Rugby's Regulation 9 to secure his release from Super Rugby duties to play in South Africa.
"Brad Shields is a good hard working player who plays for the best team in the Southern Hemisphere," Jones said. "He is a considerable influence in their team, a team that has a lot of skill and talent. He's a hard working gritty player and a great back up to Chris Robshaw."