Fined Cipriani faces ban next time - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fined Cipriani faces ban next time

By Sam Lienert 01/03/2011 04:52:04 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne Rebels five-eighth Danny Cipriani will be stood down from Super Rugby if he infringes again, after being sanctioned over a nightclub incident.

The English international was fined one match payment on Tuesday, after fronting the Rebels' players standards group for allegedly helping himself to a bottle of vodka from a Melbourne nightclub 10 days ago.

Cipriani, who starred in the Rebels' maiden victory, against the Brumbies last Friday night, is free to play in Saturday's clash with the Chiefs in New Zealand, but any further misdemeanours will mean a suspension.

"I have apologised for my actions and I regret any embarrassment my behaviour has caused to the Rebels," he said in a statement.

"... If anything else happens along these lines again, I have agreed with the players that I will stand down for an appropriate period of time."

Coach Rod Macqueen denied that Cipriani's importance to the fledgling club had saved him from suspension, saying if anything, his profile actually made the situation harder for the player, given the associated publicity.

He said the fact that the club would suspend Cipriani if he infringed again showed the Rebels were "putting the team culture in front of being a good player".

"One of the things we've strived to do is have very high standards at this club, we've said that from day one," Macqueen said.

Meanwhile, Macqueen said he felt for sacked Brumbies coach Andy Friend, whose axing came just four days after the dramatic one-point loss to the Rebels.

"Sport's pretty levelling at times and I feel for Friendy and that's really the only comment I want to make," said Macqueen, who was the Brumbies first coach.

After speculation player discontent was behind Friend's sacking, Macqueen quipped he had "been very nice to all of our players" since hearing of the decision.

Macqueen said the Chiefs would pose a tough challenge, despite being winless for almost a year, in what is the first home game for the Hamilton-based side this season.

"I suspect they see it as a great opportunity to get points on the board against us," he said.

"We're going to have to play better again this week if we're going to have a chance of taking the points from them. They're one of the most dangerous attacking sides in the competition."

He said halfback Sam Cordingley would again miss with the hip injury which kept him out against the Brumbies.

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