Danny Cipriani's chances of forcing his way in to Martin Johnson's RBS 6 Nations squad were dealt another blow on Sunday as the out of favour youngster failed to sparkle in Wasps' 12-6 defeat against Newcastle.
Cipriani was shifted to full-back for the match – the 22-year-old had played at fly half against Harlequins last week – and needed a big performance to catch the eye of Johnson.
But in a drab affair Cipriani was one of a host of Wasps stars that failed to impress, and despite switching to his more favoured fly-half position after the break he continued to misfire, missing a key penalty from almost in front of the posts.
However, there were positives to take with Cipriani’s counter attacking from full back the one bright spot for Wasps at Adams Park.
That was a fact not lost on Wasps coach Shaun Edwards who said: “He was by far our most dangerous player in the first half."
But while Edwards was quick to defend Cipriani, director of rugby Tony Hanks admitted his fly half needs to find his form.
"Danny has not quite got his rhythm," said Hanks. "It's something he's got to get back."
The boot of Jimmy Gopperth and a powerful forwards’ display from Newcastle condemned Wasps to a second home defeat of the season as the Falcons climbed to sixth in the Guinness Premiership.