Rugby star Danny Cipriani thought he'd blown his England chances following a drink driving arrest in Fulham and believed police officers wanted to "assist" him, a court heard.

At the fly-half's trial at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Monday (April 18), the magistrates were told police took him away after taking a breath sample at the scene of the crash, between his Mercedes and a taxi in Imperial Road on June 1 2015.

But defence lawyer Philip Lucas argued that following his arrest, at around 5.30am, there was a delay in his initial breath test and his second evidential screening test at Hammersmith police station.

Mr Lucas claims the "unjustifiable" delay, which included a 50-minute wait outside the station, was unfair because his "alcohol level was rising not falling".

Cirpriani, of Raynes Park, Merton, denies one charge of drink driving.

It was claimed by Mr Lucas that when the defendant arrived he chatted to custody sergeant Marc Pullen about the England game, as well as coach Stuart Lancaster's "strict" regime.

The court heard that Sgt Pullen told the player "let's get this out of the way".

Cipriani was therefore led to believe police wanted to "assist" him, Mr Lucas claims.

But Sgt Pullen, giving evidence in court, denied this, responded "definitely not".

'Appeared distressed'

Video thumbnail, Danny Cipriani walks into court
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He added: "I could see that Mr Cipriani was quite distressed and quite upset and I mentioned to him that he had played well the day before, just to put him at ease.

"Why would I go easy on him?"

"I just said I hope it didn't affect his career; I hope he got into the World Cup squad."

Sgt Pullen claims he was making conversation because the defendant appeared "distressed".

He added: "He mentioned his situation with the current England team was going to be threatened by the fact that he was arrested."

Taxi driver Muhammind Quasim told Westminster Magistrates' Court that Cipriani, who was driving a Mercedes, crashed into his vehicle.

It is alleged by the witness the defendant was swerving in both lanes before crashing, shortly before 5.30am, which led to a heated row between the pair.

Cipriani was stuttering and alcohol could be smelt on his breath, Mr Quasim alleges.

Mr Quasim claims he suffered injuries to his shoulder and leg, which he claims is "still quite painful."

It is alleged Cipriani was found with 67 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath - almost double the legal limit of 35.

The trial, which was originally scheduled to last one day, continues.

Video thumbnail, Danny Cipriani arrested for drink driving PA video
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