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Cipriani still in limbo with Rebels

Sam Lienert 31/05/2011 06:23:28 PM Comments (0)

Danny Cipriani's management has met with Melbourne Rebels officials to try to convince the Super Rugby club to allow the star player back onto the field.

The English five-eighth has not played since April 30.

He was left behind for the Rebels' recent two-match tour of South Africa after repeated off-field disciplinary breaches, which prompted the club to announce they had "lost confidence" in him.

Assistant coach Damien Hill said whether Cipriani would be considered for a home return on Friday night against the Stormers depended on the club reaching a satisfactory resolution with his management.

"The administration is in talking with Danny's management at the moment regarding his availability for this week," Hill said on Tuesday.

"It's not ideal, but that's just the way it is at the moment.

"You'll find out more about that tomorrow when we'll be announcing the team.

"There are issues there that need to be resolved."

Hill refused to elaborate on what Cipriani or his management needed to do to convince the club he should be allowed to play.

But it is believed the Rebels want Cipriani, who is also contracted to the club for next year, to sign an agreement detailing acceptable off-field behaviour.

Hill acknowledged the constant spotlight on the 23-year-old's off-field troubles had made the Rebels' inaugural year tougher.

"It's a distraction and I'd be lying if I said we couldn't have done without it," he said.

"But when you have any sort of club set-up where you've got 30-plus players, all new, a third of which are foreign, you're going to have issues that arise."

He said even if the Rebels' administration cleared Cipriani, there was no guarantee the match committee would select him.

On a positive note, hooker Adam Freier will finally represent the bottom-placed Rebels for the first time on Friday night, after recovering from back surgery, then a hamstring injury.

"It's been a long road and the timing of the year is insignificant as far as what the outcome will be for the season, but these three games mean absolutely everything to me," Freier said.

"Making it back so far, it's happy days for me at the moment."

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