Danny Cipriani: England return behind move to Sale Sharks

Sale chief executive Steve Diamond believes Danny Cipriani's desire to play for England helped his decision to join the club.

The 24-year-old has won seven caps but not played for England since 2009.

"I was looking for someone of Danny's abilities and he showed a real interest about joining us in Manchester for two reasons," Diamond said.

"He sees the vision that we see of becoming a super northern club, and he wants to play for England again."

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Rugby union is crying out for a superstar and after Jonny Wilkinson he could be the man

Sale Sharks chief executive Diamond on Danny Cipriani

Cipriani has signed a three-year deal to play at Sale from the start of next season, but will first complete the season with Melbourne Rebels in Australia.

The fly-half came through the academy at Wasps and made his debut for the London club, at full-back, as a 17-year-old in 2004.

He became a key figure in their Premiership-winning side in 2007-08 before helping them to secure the Heineken Cup campaign the previous season.

His last appearance at Twickenham was for the Barbarians against Australia, where he spoke about his desire to force his way back into the England squad.

"You want your players to join you and you want them to be ambitious and play for the national team," Diamond added.

"England had a great Six Nations, it's really excited him.


  • Born Roehampton, 2 November 1987
  • Joins London Wasps academy in 2003
  • Makes Wasps debut v Bristol in Powergen Cup in December 2004
  • Plays full-back as Wasps beat Leicester 9-25 in the Heineken Cup final in May 2007
  • Comes off bench for England debut against Wales in February 2008
  • In February 2010 announces he will leave Wasps to join Melbourne Rebels
  • Cipriani plays in a reserve team match for Premier League Tottenham Hotspur in July 2010 before training with QPR a month later
  • Suspended by Rebels in May 2011 for a series of off-field issues
  • Finishes 2011 Super 15 season as Rebels top scorer with 108 points
  • Agrees three-year deal to join Sale Sharks for the 2013 season

"He's spent two years playing Super 15 which not many European players get the opportunity to do and he's gone really well down there."

Cipriani's time in Australia has not been without controversy with his high profile relationship with Kelly Brook and other off-field matters often courting controversy.

He was fined by the Rebels after being evicted from a nightclub for taking a bottle of vodka without paying, took a one-match ban for breaking a team curfew and at one point things were so bad the club chief executive said they had "lost confidence" in the number 10.

However Diamond said: "We forget he's a young kid and he probably became famous for his celebrity antics, that bit doesn't really bother me.

"He'll be more famous for what he does on the rugby field.

"Rugby union is crying out for a superstar and after Jonny Wilkinson he could be the man.

"I think he's matured in his time away. You've got to have a bit of ambition about you to pack up your bag and go to Australia on your own, he's done that, he's learnt a lot and it'll be for the better."