England fly-half Danny Cipriani leaves Melbourne Rebels by mutual consent to join Sale Sharks early

By Dean Wilkins

Rugby ace Danny Cipriani is surprising fans by leaving Melbourne Rebels to make an early start for Sale Sharks.

The fly-half left the Super 15 club after joining them in 2010 from London Wasps.

The 24-year-old agreed a three-year deal with Sharks last month and will join fellow signing Richie Gray for the next campaign.

Sale Sharks’ Chief Executive Steve Diamond said: “This is great news for Sale Sharks. Danny will be able to enjoy a rest period, along with his future playing colleagues at the club.

“He will also be able to take part in full close season preparations under our Head of Performance Nigel Ashley-Jones.

“Danny is really looking forward to joining our club, and is keen to be involved in meeting the fans during the close season.”

Cipriani made his debut with Wasps against Bristol in the 2004 Powergen Cup, aged 17. His first Premiership start was against Worcester in January 2007 when he was man of the match.

In 2008 was voted PRA Young player of the year and the Guinness Premiership Discovery of the Season.

Cipriani captained England at U16 level and was part of the England Saxons side that won the Churchill Cup at Twickenham in 2007.

He made his full England debut in a 33-10 victory over Ireland in March 2008, replacing Jonny Wilkinson.

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