Sale confirm Cipriani deal
March 20, 2012
Danny Cipriani is heading back to England with Sale Sharks © Getty Images
Danny Cipriani is on his way back to English rugby following confirmation of a deal with Sale Sharks.
The 24-year-old turned his back on England in 2010, signing a deal with Super Rugby outfit Melbourne Rebels. He will see out his contract with the Australian club before joining Sale, who he has committed to on a three-year deal.
Sale chief executive Steve Diamond said: "Quality signings such as Danny Cipriani and Richie Gray are a massive statement of intent from the Sharks, as we aim to become a 'Super Northern Club'."
The fly-half came through the ranks with Wasps and was tipped to become a major force for England after bursting on to the scene as a teenager, but he has just seven caps to his name.
Diamond added: "Danny has been targeted by many European clubs, but has chosen to be based in Manchester, as he feels that the Sharks give him the best opportunity to fulfil his aspirations to be the No. 1 fly-half in England by the time of the 2015 Rugby World Cup."
Cipriani burst on to the scene as a rookie 17-year-old in 2004. His progress continued and in 2008 he was named as the Professional Rugby Association`s young player of the year after making his England debut against Ireland in March of that year.
That, though, was only after he had missed the chance to make it against Scotland after being dropped from the squad for disciplinary reasons. He went on to win six more caps but has fallen out of favour since, with his time in Melbourne taking him out of the selection picture.
Cipriani's time in Victoria has not been all plain sailing with the Rebels standing him down for a month last season after a breach of club discipline.
Despite his disciplinary problems in Melbourne, the Rebels chief executive Steven Boland believes Cipriani's time with the club has been an important experience in his development.
"It was a tremendous coup for the club to sign a player of Danny's calibre and like all of our players, Danny has played an important part in our short history," Boland said. "However, we have always understood and supported his desire to return to the English national team and we hope that this move will help Danny achieve this goal.
"Throughout his time in Melbourne, Danny has been integrally involved in our community-based 5-Star Engagement Program and we believe that this, coupled with his experience in Super Rugby, means he leaves the club better prepared for the challenges that lay ahead. On behalf of the club, I would like to thank Danny for his service and wish him all the best with his career."
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