James Haskell has launched a staunch defence of England fly-half Danny Cipriani based on a 'trial by social media'

Haskell and Cipriani played together at London Wasps. Credit: PA

James Haskell insists the outcry over Danny Cipriani's conviction following a nightclub scuffle has seen him join England cricketer Ben Stokes in facing "trial by social media".

Cipriani appeared before a disciplinary hearing in Bristol on Wednesday night after being charged with conduct prejudicial to the interests of the game by the Rugby Football Union.

He was found guilty of conduct prejudicial to the interests of the game but received no further punishment.

The England fly-half had been fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £250 in compensation after pleading guilty to charges of common assault and resisting arrest following an incident that took place on Gloucester's pre-season tour to Jersey on August 15.

Haskell believes the friend he has played alongside with England and across two spells at Wasps has suffered a similar fate to Stokes, who was last week found not guilty of affray following a street brawl in Bristol.

"It's a case of trial by social media and the problem of that is that everyone is ill-informed and knows nothing," the Northampton flanker said.

"It's like me peeping over the wall at Oasis and telling them how to play guitar because I've watched 10 gigs. Professional sport brings out the best and worst of people.

"Ben Stokes was a great example - people were ready to throw him under the bus and it's the same with Danny.

"People love to hate him but I know him as a good, hard-working guy and it's time to move on. I don't judge him and I don't think anybody should.

"It was time to move on an hour after the court case, but a few ex-players and coaches threw him under the bus for easy headlines.

"It's best to move on as there is a lot more to life than Danny Cipriani. I have spoken to him and he's good. It's unfortunate that when you have a profile, everything is times one million."

Despite offering his support, Haskell suggests that Cipriani should have avoided any possibility of a confrontation outside the Royal Yacht Hotel in St Helier.

"We now live in a world of stitch-up, we live in the world of the easy win, we live in the world that everyone's a paparazzi, everyone's recording everything," Haskell said.

"You've got to be whiter than white and don't put yourself in those positions.

"I'm a nobody, so God knows what actual famous people have to think about. But I still have that concern - thinking 'do I want to be in this situation? Is this the right time to be out?' I try to consider it all."