Bad boy Cip some fin spe­cial for Sharks

RUGBY UNION

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

ENG­LAND ex­ile Danny Cipri­ani is to re­turn to his home coun­try af­ter sign­ing a three-year deal with Sale Sharks.

The 24-year-old fly-half – once seen as the nat­u­ral suc­ces­sor to Jonny Wilkinson – will re­turn to the Aviva Pre­mier­ship at the end of his two-sea­son stay with Su­per Rugby side the Melbourne Rebels.

He ini­tially left Eng­land in 2010 when he swapped Wasps for Australia, but will now be back with Steve Di­a­mond’s am­bi­tious side.

Cipri­ani has been linked with a num­ber of clubs over re­cent weeks, but the Sharks con­firmed they had snared his sig­na­ture on their of­fi­cial web­site on Tues­day.

“Qual­ity sign­ings such as Danny are a mas­sive state­ment of in­tent from the Sharks as we aim to be­come a Su­per North­ern club,” said coach and chief ex­ec­u­tive Di­a­mond.

Dis­ci­plinary

“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 World Cup.”

Such a role seemed to be Cipri­ani’s birthright when he first emerged on the scene as a rookie 17-year-old in 2004.

In 2008 he was named as the Pro­fes­sional Rugby As­so­ci­a­tion’s young player of the year af­ter mak­ing his Eng­land de­but against Ire­land.

But that was af­ter he had missed the chance to make it against Scot­land af­ter be­ing dropped 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.

COM­ING HOME: Cipri­ani

BIG SIGN­ING: Di­a­mond

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