Danny Cipriani joins Sale Sharks on three-year deal

Former England fly-half Danny Cipriani has signed a three-year deal with Premiership side Sale Sharks.

He will return to the English top-flight next season after a second year in Australia with Melbourne Rebels.

Lancaster delighted Cipriani's back

The 24-year-old has not played for England since 2009 and hopes the move will revive his international career.

"He feels Sale give him the best opportunity to fulfil his aspirations to be England's number one fly-half," said chief executive Steve Diamond.

Analysis

Danny Cipriani's time in Australia has not been an unqualified success. His achievements have been limited on the field, and there have been several disciplinary problems off it. Nevertheless, the 24-year-old hopes the move to the Sharks will help him regain the England fly-half shirt, in time for the 2015 World Cup. The last of Cipriani's seven international caps came two and a half years ago and it's fair to say he didn't see eye to eye with Martin Johnson. He will be hoping for a change in fortunes under a new management

"Danny has been targeted by many European clubs but has chosen to be based in Manchester."

Cipriani, who has won seven England caps, came through the academy at Wasps and made his debut for the London club as a 17-year-old in 2004.

He was named man of the match in his first Premiership start in 2007 against Worcester, before being voted the league's young player of the year in 2008.

Former England coach Brian Ashton handed him a full international debut against Ireland in March 2008 and he responded by kicking 18 points in a 33-10 victory.

Diamond wants Cipriani the superstar

He scored a total of 49 points in his seven matches, but found himself out of favour for most of next full-time boss Martin Johnson's reign.

Cipriani moved to newly formed Super 15 side Rebels in 2010 on a two-year deal, saying he agreed the move to develop his game.

And in a season marred by disciplinary problems he was the Rebels' leading scorer last year with 108 points.

He is the second high-profile capture by the ambitious north west club, who have also signed Scotland lock Richie Gray ahead of next season.

"Quality signings such as Danny and Richie are a massive statement of intent from the Sharks," added Diamond.