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Toulon hint at Cipriani interest

02/05/2011 04:12:39 PM Comments (0)

Toulon team manager Tom Whitford has hinted that the French Top 14 club could be interested in signing Melbourne Rebels playmaker Danny Cipriani.

Toulon will lose the services of England's Jonny Wilkinson and Argentina's Felipe Contepomi and won't yet have Australia's Matt Giteau during the Rugby World Cup in September and October, and Whitford acknowledges the need for a short-term replacement able to fill in at No.10.

With the southern hemisphere's Super season coming to an end in June and the Rebels unlikely to make the play-offs, 23-year-old Englishman Cipriani would appear an obvious choice.

"We are in contact with a lot of players in France and abroad," Whitford said.

"Danny has a good pedigree but it is all speculation at the moment.

"We are looking for a 10 who can play in the Top 14 during the World Cup."

Cipriani is out of favour with England manager Martin Johnson and is not expected to feature in the RWC in New Zealand.

Coming to the end of his first season in Super Rugby with new franchise the Rebels, there has been speculation Cipriani could move on following the recruitment of Kurtley Beale from the NSW Waratahs.

Whitford alluded to the significant media attention Cipriani has attracted in his short career, not always for the right reasons.

His latest indiscretion came in February, when he was banned from a Melbourne nightclub and fined by his club after helping himself to a bottle of vodka.

"Cipriani is a high-profile player, not just on the pitch but off it as well," Whitford said.

"We would like to concentrate on players performing on the pitch but of course he is a good player, he has a good pedigree and he has played for England."

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