Cipriani still out of Rebels rugby squad - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cipriani still out of Rebels rugby squad

By Melissa Woods 01/06/2011 01:46:18 PM Comments (0)

Controversial five-eighth Danny Cipriani remains on the outer at the Melbourne Rebels, with the Super Rugby club and his management unable to agree on a revamped contract.

The out-of-favour Englishman was again left out of the line-up as the bottom-placed Rebels host South Africa's top side, the Stormers, in Melbourne on Friday night.

It's believed the Rebels, who left Cipriani out of their two-match tour to South Africa stating they had "lost confidence" in him, want the 23-year-old to sign a re-worked contract that relates to his off-field conduct.

The club issued a statement on Wednesday as they announced the squad for the AAMI Park clash, and said Cipriani, who has seven England Test caps, was still unavailable.

"The Melbourne Rebels administration continues to work through a number of issues with Danny Cipriani and his management," said the Rebels' chief operating officer Steve Boland.

"These discussions are now moving in a very positive direction but, at the moment, Danny remains unavailable for selection."

Melbourne chief executive Ross Oakley couldn't be contacted for comment.

Cipriani hasn't played since April 30 after being axed because of off-field disciplinary breaches.

It was hoped the two parties could come to terms this week with only three matches remaining in the Rebels' inaugural season.

Cipriani has another year remaining on his deal, although the contractual stand-off appears to make it increasingly unlikely he will be back in Melbourne next season.

In the absence of the mercurial Cipriani - who has still been training with the squad - Julian Huxley will start at five-eighth, as James Hilgendorf is out with an ankle injury.

Former Test hooker Adam Freier has been named on the bench, set to make his long-awaited debut for the Rebels after finally overcoming back and hamstring problems.

Nic Henderson returns to the side, replacing Greg Somerville at loosehead prop while Jarrod Saffy moves to blindside flanker, with Luke Jones unavailable due to under-20 World Cup commitments in Italy.

Vice-captain Gareth Delve returns to the starting 15 at No.8, relegating Tim Davidson to the bench.

The Rebels are looking to snap a six-match losing streak which dates back to their round seven win over the Force in early April.

Rebels: Richard Kingi, Lachlan Mitchell, Mark Gerrard, Stirling Mortlock (capt), Cooper Vuna, Julian Huxley, Nick Phipps, Gareth Delve, Michael Lipman, Jarrod Saffy, Hugh Pyle, Alister Campbell, Laurie Weeks, Ged Robinson, Nic Henderson. Res: Adam Freier, Greg Somerville, Kevin O'Neill, Tim Davidson, Sam Cordingley, Peter Betham, Afusipa Taumoepeau.

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