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Cipriani to head home early after Rebels exit

Date

Linda Pearce

Man on the move ... Danny Cipriani.

Man on the move ... Danny Cipriani. Photo: Getty Images

SINCE March, Danny Cipriani has been going; as of yesterday, the Melbourne Rebels' English import is gone. The Rebels have released Cipriani, effective immediately, severing a controversial 18-month relationship eight rounds before it was due to expire.

The five-eighth was in the last of his two Super Rugby seasons with the Rebels, having agreed to a three-year deal with the Sale Sharks in northern England, while long coveting a return to the national side.

Cipriani played the last of his seven Tests in 2008.

Rebels chief executive Steve Boland said Cipriani left with the club's blessing after scoring 122 points in 19 games, including the goal that won the new team's first game last year.

''Essentially the time is right for both parties to part company,'' Boland said of a decision he described as ''amicable'', and one he said was set in motion by Cipriani's commitment to the Sharks.

''As soon as Danny decided to return to England at the completion of this year and sign with Sale … we had some discussions with his Australian representative that [if] at any time over that period … he'd be better served by going back and preparing for the next England season that we were open to that discussion, because it's sort of a funny situation where the seasons cross over to some degree.

''So we had that discussion a few weeks ago and we received that approach last week and completed those negotiations this afternoon.''

Cipriani will return to England this week and will do a full pre-season with the Sharks.

"Danny believes that leaving now will give him the best chance to prepare for the long season ahead with Sale," Rebels coach Damien Hill said.

In Melbourne, the 24-year-old has rarely been far from the headlines, and was suspended for a month for off-field indiscretions last year. More recently, he has been considered an unhealthy influence on the likes of star recruits James O'Connor and Kurtley Beale, while his inconsistent form meant he was expected to be dropped for Friday night's game against the Bulls at AAMI Park.

"I want to thank the club for being so understanding with my wishes and granting me a release to return to England," Cipriani said. "I've made no secret of my desire to play for England again, and I believe leaving now will give me the best opportunity to do that.

"I've thoroughly enjoyed my time in Melbourne at the Rebels. I've made some lifelong friends, played in front of an incredible set of fans in an amazing stadium and improved my game playing in one of the best provincial rugby competitions in the world.

"I feel I have developed my game in my time in Australia and become a more complete player.

''I wish the Rebels every success in the future, and should the opportunity ever arise again I would not hesitate to return."

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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