Danny Cipriani joins the Melbounre Rebels

Melbourne Rebels sign Cipriani

Melbourne Rebels sign Cipriani

Cipriani, a very flexible player

Cipriani, a very flexible player

English rock-star flyhalf/fullback, and Josh Lewsey punching bag, Danny Cipriani, today confirmed he has agreed to terms with the Melbourne Rebels. Cipriani becomes the Rebels’ inaugural signing and with a two year contract, has effectively turned his back on English rugby.

There had been much speculation about his signing but Rebels coach Rod Macqueen appeared to pour cold water on the move suggesting perhaps he didn’t fit into his vision of what the Rebels team culture would be.

Maybe this was just a rouse as today Rod Macqueen seemed to have changed his tune.

“Danny and I have spoken on numerous occasions regarding the Rebels’ commitment to a culture that makes a positive contribution to both the Melbourne community and the game of rugby.

“It is refreshing in this age to find a young man whose decision is based on sporting considerations and life choices rather than the dollar.”

It is a vote of confidence in the Rebels set-up that Cipriani has chosen to join them and leave behind the riches of European rugby. It is understood the offer the Rebels put before Cipriani was well below the money he could have commanded had he stayed in England.

Cipriani, who played 7 tests for the Poms, comes to Melbourne as a player who despite the hype, hasn’t really done the business consistently and there must be question marks over his ability to make a real impact in what is the strongest rugby competition in the world.

Cipriani will join the Rebels in August this year after his commitments at Wasps are finished and it has been confirmed by Macqueen that he will play at his preferred position of full-back rather than the fly half

The wayward young Pom has been on the wrong side of authorities more than a few times since being punted two days before what would have been his first test appearance after going out on the piss before the game.

It seems rather fitting that the Rebels first signing is that of a real-life rebel.

  • Cipriani joins the Rebels, Reds beat the dark side, the force (small f) is strong in Aussie rugby….

  • Ben

    hes going to have to learn how to tackle

    • Noddy

      like Quade?

    • Because tackling is obviously so important in the Super 15! 72-65 anyone?

      • Juan Cote

        Unlike the Guinness Premiership! Wasps 9 – Sarries 0 anyone?

        • Bradders

          Fair enough! Agree with you actually! See here.

  • Gooch

    I have never been a huge fan off what I have seen from Cipriani… BUT I think it is a step in the right direction for the Rebels.
    He has obviously been shown by Martin Johnson that he is not required for the 6 Nations or even for the up coming World Cup on 2011, so good on him for trying something different, and going from North to South, for LESS money, to play footy for less money but at a higher (hopefully) level of rugby than in the Northern Hemisphere cups/leagues.
    I’m from NSW but I’d love nothing more than to have a (more) than competitive team from Melb, from the first game.
    There are a lot of Aussie players overseas, that didn’t quite crack it for the 4 Aussie teams that maybe with better coaching/training levels, that might make the grade and go on to improve the Wallabies chances of winning EVERYTHING once more.

  • BRIX

    Poor recrutment, Cipriani is a shit buy. He can’t make England because he has no composure or maturity as a player. Way to spend those Victorian bucks you idiots

    • Timmy

      Agree completely. This is the same mob who boasted about all the corporate sponsorship that they had, and are now crying poor to the ARU. They knew the conditions when they signed up, and already they are trying to weasel out of the rules. Sporting capital of Australia my ass. What a joke they are already!

      • wilful

        you have a donkey?

  • dobduff11

    Cipriani’s favoured position is 10 not 15. I live in England and have watched him play since he was 15 and I can tell you that he prefers playing 10. That is why he was disgruntled when selected for England at 15 and has complained to Shaun Edwards that he wants to play fly half. He has played there since he was 12 years old.

  • Hawko

    He won’t get a run while Johnson’s in charge, he’d have to stand 15 metres behind the halfback and kick it every time he got it. So good on him for looking for somewhere else to do what he wants to do.

    Working under McQueen will give him a chance to show how good he could have been and maybe bag an international spot sometime after the 2011 World Cup, when there’s likely to be a coach change. If not, living in Oz will make for a great lifestyle. England’s nice to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there.

  • Cameron

    Just the fact that he’s coming for rugby reasons and not for money reasons has me sold (pardon pun) on this idea. And he could well be the type of player to do well away from the british tabloids by escaping to australia. Good buy i think, hard to see who the rebels could have got who would have been a better option. Who’s that Aussie bloke playing France for Clermont I think, Brock someone?

  • James

    Personally I applaud the signing. Cipriani is lacking a bit of polish but he has the potential to be a young Stehpen Larkham. He brings a real running threat to the 5/8 position and he certainly has the skill set to be a great success in the S15. Watching highlights of the first two rounds the game is probably changing in a manner that will favour his style of play. Just a shame he has already been capped for England as I have a feeling provided he settles well he could end up been a star for the rebels. I certainly can’t imagine any of the alternatives in the game at present offering more than he can.

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