Bad boy Cip some fin special for Sharks
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.
“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