Cipriani finally ready to Rebel - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cipriani finally ready to Rebel

David Beniuk 13/11/2010 11:04:50 AM Comments (0)

Rebel with a cause Danny Cipriani has impressed teammates at the new Melbourne Super Rugby franchise after a rocky start to his career in Australia.

The talented English five-eighth, whose arrival in Melbourne was delayed by visa problems, has quietly begun his pre-season with the Rebels after a welcome escape from the media glare at home.

Cipriani had found himself tabloid fodder over his relationship and recent split with British model Kelly Brook, who reportedly flew to Melbourne recently to meet up with the 23-year-old.

The UK rugby media, meanwhile, have lamented the loss of one of England's genuine attacking weapons after he reportedly fell out with national coach Martin Johnson.

Rebels signing Nick Phipps, on tour with the Wallabies in Europe, said teammates at the new franchise were raving about Cipriani's early contribution.

"From all reports back there he's doing really well and fitting in well," Phipps told AAP.

"He's good to talk to as well, he helps out a lot because he's just from a different continent.

"He knows different things and plays a different style of rugby so I think they're listening to him a fair bit down there.

"A couple of blokes said he's easy to get along with and have a beer with."

With the Englishman the biggest name on the Rebels' books, Melbourne are desperately hoping the Cipriani experiment works.

They could ill afford the same fate which befell the last big name No.10 signed to an Australian Super Rugby side.

South African World Cup winner Andre Pretorius didn't get past the trials for the Western Force after suffering a season-ending hamstring tear in February.

Cipriani, however, has youth on his side, as does halfback Phipps, the 21-year-old spring tour bolter who clinched a deal with the Rebels after playing a big part in Australia's rugby sevens Commonwealth Games silver medal.

Phipps is hoping he can leapfrog the more experienced Sam Cordingley and Richard Kingi to play alongside the attack-minded Cipriani.

"I haven't really seen a lot of him play but from what I can gather he's a great player and I'm really looking forward to working with him pretty closely and trying to cement that top spot with him," Phipps said.

The Sydney product, who has spent part of the tour rooming with first-choice Wallabies No.9 Will Genia, is yet to have a training session with Melbourne but will be on deck as early as a week after the Wallabies get home.

"A lot of people are nervous about (the Rebels) but I'm certainly not," he said.

"(The support) is going to be huge.

"They're already backing the first six or seven home games to be full."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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