Cipriani a loss for England: Lynagh - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cipriani a loss for England: Lynagh

Ed Jackson 07/02/2011 12:58:28 PM Comments (0)

England's loss could be Melbourne's considerable gain.

That's the view of former Wallabies skipper Michael Lynagh, who believes the Melbourne Rebels' signing of English five-eighth Danny Cipriani for the upcoming Super rugby season is a smart piece of business.

Lynagh, a member of the 1984 grand slam winning squad and the 1991 World Cup champion Wallabies, now lives in London and can see a lot of mutual benefit in Cipriani's decision to abandon the northern hemisphere.

"There's a lot of interest in the Melbourne team with Cipriani playing there, a huge amount of interest in it actually," the legendary No.10 told AAP from the Laureus Sports Awards in Abu Dhabi.

"It's unfortunate circumstances that somebody as young and talented as him feels he has to leave because for whatever reasons he's feels he's not getting a fair look-in into the national set-up.

"I think there's faults on both sides.

"I think he's a very talented player and he's got a lot to offer and leaving the environment that he's been in might be good for him.

"He certainly seems to think that going to Melbourne is a good opportunity to develop himself as a player and a person and I tend to agree with him."

Cipriani, 23, has scored 49 points in seven Tests for England and is considered one of the country's brightest rugby talents.

But he's almost as famous for his playboy lifestyle and string of model girlfriends as for his exploits on the pitch.

Cipriani was once being dropped from the England squad ahead of a likely debut in 2008 for "inappropriate behaviour" after being caught leaving a London nightclub after midnight two days before a match.

But Lynagh, who scored a then-world record 911 points in 72 Tests from 1984-1995, said he expects Cipriani to make the headlines about his rugby talents in Melbourne, particularly if the first-year franchise's squad can stay fit.

"It'll be interesting to see how the team goes but particularly him because ifthe team starts playing well, he'll go well," he said.

"If there's a few injuries and they get a bit light up in the forward department it could be a tough season for him."

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