Danny Cipriani will leave Wasps at the end of the season and join the new Super 15 franchise Melbourne Rebels. Cipriani, who joined Wasps as a 15-year-old, left the door open for a return to the club in the future though.
England manager Martin Johnson had said he would not select Cipriani if he moved to the southern hemisphere. The fly-half, who has won seven international caps, has been out of favour for most of Johnson’s reign as national manager, plummeting down the pecking order from first choice to the second-string England Saxons squad.
But the 22-year-old said: (quote) I have been given no indication that I am pushing for a place with England at the moment. So it is up to me to ensure I am in contention in the future by challenging myself in new realms. I want to be the best player I can be.
I have some of the best coaches and players in the game around me at Wasps, which is why it has been so hard to make my decision. But I am still young enough to go away and experience something completely different. Leaving Wasps is very hard, this is my home. I see this move as the next step in my career and would never rule out coming back to play in England. If I did, the first place I would look at is Wasps, and we have already talked about that as a possibility for the future. I believe in the coaches and the players here and it will be very difficult to leave, but the decision has been made easier by having the support of (director of rugby) Tony Hanks and (head coach) Shaun Edwards. (end quote)
Melbourne head coach former Australia national team boss Rod Macqueen is busily recruiting ahead of their début Super 15 season next year.