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Cipriani considered quitting rugby

06/06/2010 04:21:59 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne Rebels five-eighth Danny Cipriani has revealed he was on the verge of quitting rugby to escape the harsh glare of life in the spotlight.

Cipriani was hailed as English rugby's next superstar after an impressive start to his career, but the 22-year-old abruptly fell from grace as injury interrupted his progress.

A career-threatening ankle injury and broken leg restricted his appearances and after returning to fitness, the Wasps player found himself exiled to the England Saxons, his country's B squad.

Cipriani's relationship with model Kelly Brook also put him firmly in the public eye and his lifestyle and attitude put him on a collision course with England coach Martin Johnson.

In February, Cipriani agreed to join newly-created Super 15 franchise Melbourne Rebels on a two-year contract after discovering he did not figure in Johnson's plans.

He told The Guardian newspaper that, had that deal not materialised, he might have turned his back on the game altogether.

"I get scrutinised differently to other rugby players, which is okay, but there is so much negativity," he said.

"I don't want to be around it anymore. I don't want this to be the headline but there were times when I thought about quitting.

"I just thought: 'Is it worth it? Should I be doing something else?'

"I feel privileged to earn a living from rugby but with everything I was getting there were times when it just felt like a job. And it annoys me that happened because this is something I love."

Cipriani also revealed he turned to counselling to deal with the scrutiny.

"When you're young and so much happens all at once it comes to a halt," he added.

"I saw someone and it helped. Since I saw that person and made my decision I've been so much happier. But I still need a new start and Melbourne will give me that."

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