Cipriani softens on move to Melbourne - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cipriani softens on move to Melbourne

By Melissa Woods 08/02/2010 05:41:43 PM Comments (0)

Former England rugby five-eighth Danny Cipriani has cold feet over a move to Melbourne, but the Rebels are making progress with Mark Gasnier.

Head coach Rod Macqueen hosted a meeting with former league star Gasnier in Sydney last week to discuss a move from Paris to play for the new Super 15 franchise.

His contract at French rugby side Stade Francais is due to expire in June, with the talented 28-year-old tipped to be looking for a return to Australia to qualify for selection for next year's Rugby World Cup.

Macqueen said he was impressed by Gasnier and felt he was the type of person and player the Rebels wanted.

"We had a good meeting and I think he's certainly the sort of player that would be good for Melbourne," he said.

"He's obviously got a lot of things to think about because he's got some offers and contracts in France and he's got to weigh that up against coming out here and having a go at making the Wallabies squad."

Macqueen said Gasnier would hold further talks with the ARU, who would also contract the former Dragons skipper and bolster his playing fee.

Gasnier's manager George Mimis said it was too early to reveal the player's career intentions.

"It's way too early to draw any conclusions but we're going to explore a range of opportunities and once we have we'll sit down and figure a direction," Mimis said.

He added that Gasnier didn't meet with any other Super franchises during his short visit back to Australia for his wedding.

Meanwhile, Cipriani reportedly told his club London Wasps last week of his intentions to play for Melbourne, however after a warning by England coach Martin Johnson that his chances of playing in the World Cup would end with the move, the 22-year-old appears to have reconsidered.

"My dream is to play in the next World Cup. I want to play for England again. I aim to be in the best possible position to make that happen," Cipriani told reporters before he played for the second-string Saxons team against Italy A in Treviso.

"If I am 30 years old and I haven't got 50 caps I will kick myself. I am just going to do the best I can to make sure I am available for selection.

"It is a crucial stage for me to get my development in and make sure I progress as a player and be in that squad for the World Cup.

"Melbourne was interesting to hear about.

"But I am in positive talks with Wasps and they are moving forward.

"If they are positive, it will put a full stop to everything. My first loyalty is to Wasps."

Just over a month after the Australian Rugby Union handed control of the franchise to the Melbourne Rebels, they are yet to sign a player.

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