Full name Daniel Jerome Cipriani
Born November 2, 1987, Roehampton
Current age 25 years 197 days
Major teams Barbarians, England Saxons, London Wasps, Melbourne Rebels, Sale Sharks, England
Height 6 ft 1 in
Weight 202 lb
|Test debut||England v Wales at Twickenham, Feb 2, 2008 match details|
|Last Test||England v New Zealand at Twickenham, Nov 29, 2008 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Most points | Most tries | Tournament list|
A fly-half of considerable talent and composure who is as comfortable at fullback, Cipriani burst into the public eye during the 2006-07 season. He made his first start for Wasps, at fullback, in their Guinness Premiership clash Worcester and marked the occasion with a try.
A Heineken Cup winner's medal followed in May, as did Churchill Cup success with the England Saxons and a call up to England's initial Rugby World Cup training squad.
Cipriani's failure to claim a place in the final 30 for the tournament itself was greeted with derision among several rugby writers. But they, or he, would not have to wait too long for a first international start. That came against Ireland in the 2008 Six Nations, a week later than originally planned after a member of the paparazzi took a picture of Cipriani coming out of a nightclub in the early hours a few days before the Calcutta Cup match for which he had been selected.
Cipriani played with aplomb, landing all his goals and dictating the play with confidence on his way to the man of the match honour. He would have been a certainty to tour New Zealand and the potential match-up with Dan Carter was highly anticipated.
Unfortunately a fracture and dislocation of his right ankle in the Premiership semi-final against Bath in May 2008 meant that Cipriani missed out not just on the tour but London Wasps' Premiership triumph. Initial reports suggested he would be on the sidelines for nine months and he was subsequently named in the England Saxons squad by incoming manager Martin Johnson.
However, he made an amazing recovery and returned to domestic action with Wasps after just four and a half months in their Premiership clash with Bath at the beginning of October - a full six weeks ahead of schedule. His return also raised hopes he would be able to regain his fitness ahead of the end of year internationals and fill the void left in the England Elite Player squad left by the injury-prone Jonny Wilkinson.
He eventually recovered from the injury two months ahead of schedule to start three of the four end of year internationals - losing his place to rival Toby Flood for the final game of the year. He was included in Johnson's squad for the 2009 Six Nations but a lack of form saw him slip further down the pecking order.
It had been a meteoric rise for the Roehampton-born Cipriani, whose mother worked two jobs to send him to Donhead, a prep school in Wimbledon. His rugby talent earned him a scholarship to The Oratory School and England honours at U-16 and U-19 level.
However, Cipriani could have been lost to rugby. He played junior football for Queens Park Rangers and was offered youth terms by Reading. The sporting talent did not stop there as he played schoolboy cricket for Berkshire and Oxfordshire and was invited to join Surrey as a batsman but opted instead for London Wasps' academy.
Speculation was rife throughout the 2008-09 season regarding his playing future with reports suggesting Cipriani's salary demands were a major stumbling block. However, he resisted the lure of a lucrative move to the continent like his team-mates James Haskell, Tom Palmer and Riki Flutey in favour of a new one-year deal with the Premiership club.
After representing the England Saxons in America in the summer of 2009, including only a replacement appearance in the Churchill Cup final, Cipriani missed out on selection for the 32-man England Elite Player Squad and remained with the Saxons.
In February 2010, Cipriani ended months of speculation regarding his playing future by agreeing a move to the Melbourne Rebels in Australia ahead of their introduction to an expanded Super 15 competition in 2011. He subsequently made his Super Rugby bow in February 2011 in a 43-0 drubbing against the Waratahs, but was soon in trouble with his new employers. He was warned for taking a bottle of alcohol from a nightclub and later stood down for a game against the Reds after an unsanctioned night out.
However, Cipriani finished the season turning out for the Rebels and took part on their tour of Europe. And Cipriani was offered the chance to showcase his skill back on homesoil after being named in the Barbarians squad for the clash with Australia on November 26 at Twickenham.
The Barbarians were quite frankly awful against Australia - losing 60-11- but Cipriani was back in the headlines again January of 2012 when he declared his interest in filling the fly-half spot for England in the forthcoming Six Nations after Toby Flood picked up an injury.
A few weeks into the new Super Rugby season, Sale Sharks confirmed the fly-half would be joining them from the beginning of the 2012/13 season on a three-year deal and he would eventually leave the Rebels mid-season to link up with his new club and further his quest for more international honours.