Cipriani going nowhere: Rebels - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cipriani going nowhere: Rebels

Melissa Woods 20/05/2011 04:21:07 PM Comments (0)

The Rebels believe troubled rugby star Danny Cipriani is staying in Melbourne despite reports of his management trying to line up a UK deal.

The English five-eighth, who was left behind from the Rebels' two-match Super Rugby tour of South Africa after repeated off-field disciplinary breaches, reportedly sought a deal with Bath rugby club but was turned down.

The 23-year-old had a two-year deal with Melbourne which Rebels chief executive Ross Oakley expected him to honour.

"He hasn't asked to get out of his contract," said Oakley on Friday, ahead of their clash with the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein early on Sunday morning (AEST).

"I've spoken to his manager who told me there's no truth in the fact that he's wanting to go to Bath."

The English club, looking for a replacement for South African Butch James, reportedly said Cipriani wasn't "top of their list".

"Danny is a very talented player but we don't know what happened in Australia yet," Bath chief executive Nick Blofeld said.

"We didn't want to go off strategy and sign somebody at the last minute."

With other UK clubs also believed to be wary of the talented yet wayward back, Cipriani's only option could be to try to repair his reputation and see out the remainder of his two-year contract.

"He's training here and has been working very hard while the boys have been away, so we'll see how it progresses as time rolls by," Oakley said.

"He's keeping his head down and working hard.

"He's doing all the things he's been asked to do as well as his training, so it will be how the team and team management see that once they get back."

He said it would be up to coach Rod Macqueen and senior players whether Cipriani would be available for selection for their next match following South Africa and the bye - against the Stormers on June 3.

Before the Rebels left for South Africa, the club issued a statement about his omission, saying the squad and management "had lostconfidence" in Cipriani.

Out of finals contention, the Rebels are looking to end a five-match losing streak, while the resurgent Cheetahs have won three straight, including the scalp of New Zealand powerhouse the Crusaders last round.

Melbourne have rested tireless Welshman Gareth Delve, with Tim Davidson taking over at No.8 and also his vice-captaincy duties.

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