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Tuesday Dec 8, 2015

Danny Cipriani's stunning chip kick provides childhood friend Nev Edwards with a great Sale Sharks try

Sale Sharks flyhalf Danny Cipriani created this fantastic try for childhood friend Nev Edwards at the weekend. Cipriani’s chip was perfectly executed, but made all the more special by the backstory that goes with Edwards’ rise to professional rugby.

While Gloucester won the match 23-19 at Kingsholm (highlights down below), this try stood out for the brilliance of Cipriani’s chip, and the understanding he had with his old mate, Edwards.

The two played at junior level together, and while Cipriani’s career followed a path that included Test rugby for his country, Edwards was overlooked in the system, and had to get on with life. That all changed recently, when he signed his first pro rugby contract with Sale Sharks, aged 27.

A few weeks back Cipriani shared a photo of the two playing way back when they were 15.

His description of Edwards’ rugby story is both heartwarming and inspiring.

“So a little shout out to someone who has inspired me recently. We have been best friends since we were 10 years old. It’s always been known that he has talent, went through the academy system and didn’t quite make it at 18,” Cipriani explained on Instagram.

So a little shout out to someone who has inspired me recently. This is @nev_star – we have been best friends since we were 10 years old. It’s always been known that he has talent, went through the academy system and didn’t quite make it at 18. He was obviously disappointed but had to get on with life. He has been playing semi pro for a while now. A good standard, but with respect compared to the premiership is a way off. He has always had a burning desire to give it one last shot. Talent he has in abundance. Whether he truly believed when he was younger who knows. Only he could answer that. But he was juggling work with playing at our beloved club Rosslyn Park for a few years. That desire became too much and he wanted to give it a shot. Took some time off work. And at 27 perhaps his last shot at professional rugby. He worked extremely hard with our fitness coach Margot, had a trial at Sale. Which didn’t start smoothly not through attitude or application but just getting used to a professional environment and doing the work load. He got his head down, trained well and was given a chance in the pre season games. He took it. Where it mattered he showed his worth, natural talent and what I’ve seen him do since we were kids. He got offered a 1 year deal. To me that’s inspiring. To any young kid that wants to achieve their dreams and goals it’s not too late. Some times your dreams and goals may need to adapt. But don’t give up. The picture is us at 15 playing for whitgift at twickenham, against the odds beating a ‘bigger’ school. Against the odds, at 27 my brother is now a professional rugby and going to represent @salesharks this is the start of a new journey. Huge love and congratulations @nev_star ???????? #illbefaceplantingforyouthisseasonsoyoucanscorenodoubt + shout out to @adidasuk from day 1…

A photo posted by Daniel Cipriani (@dannycipriani87) on Sep 23, 2015 at 6:50am PDT

“He was obviously disappointed but had to get on with life. He has been playing semi pro for a while now. A good standard, but with respect compared to the Premiership, is a way off. He has always had a burning desire to give it one last shot. Talent he has in abundance.

“Whether he truly believed when he was younger who knows. Only he could answer that. But he was juggling work with playing at our beloved club Rosslyn Park for a few years.

“That desire became too much and he wanted to give it a shot. Took some time off work. And at 27 perhaps his last shot at professional rugby.

“He worked extremely hard with our fitness coach Margot, had a trial at Sale which didn’t start smoothly, not through attitude or application but just getting used to a professional environment and doing the work load.

“He got his head down, trained well and was given a chance in the pre season games. He took it. Where it mattered he showed his worth, natural talent and what I’ve seen him do since we were kids. He got offered a 1 year deal.

“To me that’s inspiring. To any young kid that wants to achieve their dreams and goals it’s not too late. Sometimes your dreams and goals may need to adapt. But don’t give up.

“The picture is us at 15 playing for whitgift at Twickenham, against the odds beating a ‘bigger’ school. Against the odds, at 27 my brother is now a professional rugby player and going to represent @salesharks.

“This is the start of a new journey. Huge love and congratulations, @nev_star”

You can watch the try below, and because Edwards actually scored twice in the match, we’ve included the highlights below that. Congratulations, Nev!

credit: boucherie ovalie/premiershiprugby

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