Peter Sullivan (51)
Cipriani faces Rebels probe over bar incident
February 24, 2011
Melbourne Rebels' high profile English recruit Danny Cipriani is under investigation for an incident in a nightclub following his side's Super Rugby debut on Friday.
The Rebels lost 43-0 to the Waratahs in their first competitive match but the result could be the least of their worries if the franchise's image takes an early hit due to Cipriani's off-field behaviour.
The 23-year-old fly-half allegedly stole a bottle of alcohol from behind the bar while at the 161 nightclub at around 4am on Saturday morning. Bar staff caught Cipriani in the act, retrieved the bottle and then asked him to leave, according to local reports. Police were not called.
"I have only just been made aware of the claims, but I will investigate these allegations thoroughly and make further comment once all the facts have been established," CEO Ross Oakley told the Herald Sun.
Cipriani cited his desire to make a fresh start away from the burning spotlight of the English media as one of the reasons he moved to the Rebels, but he has already drawn attention in Melbourne and has been linked to a number of female Australian celebrities in the gossip pages.
He started Friday's match on the bench but an injury to starting No.10 James Hilgendorf saw Cipriani injected into the match earlier than expected. The Rebels next meet the Brumbies on Friday night.