Danny Cipriani to leave Wasps

Rugby Union
Danny Cipriani
Danny Cipriani

Danny Cipriani will leave Wasps at the end of the season, but has yet to determine his next move.

The England fly-half has confirmed his second stint at Wasps would end this summer, just two years after returning to his boyhood club from Sale Sharks.

Cipriani insisted he would mull over his options, with offers tabled from overseas clubs, on confirming his Wasps departure in a Twitter statement.

The 30-year-old insisted he wants to lead Wasps to the Aviva Premiership title in his final season at the Coventry club, having graced the English outfit from 2006 to 2010, before stints with Melbourne Rebels and Sale preceded his 2016 return.

"Leaving Wasps for the first time was hard enough," said Cipriani, on his Twitter account.

"Now is the time to announce that I'm leaving the club for a second time.

"Sadness will most likely be the overriding emotion, come the end of May. But I'm also hoping mixed with the sadness will be a lot of joy, as the job isn't finished yet.

"You'll get nothing but my absolute commitment from myself and the team for the rest of the season.

"I will take some time to decide my next move. Thank you to the Wasps faithful! Let's go one better this year."

Cipriani has been linked with a lucrative move to play club rugby in Japan next term, but will also receive strong interest from top outfits in France.

The 14-cap England star has twice nearly signed for Toulon in the past, and the Cote d'Azur giants are likely to renew their interests in his services now too.

Wasps have already signed New Zealand fly-half Lima Sopoaga for next season, who will switch to the Premiership from Super Rugby outfit the Highlanders.

While Cipriani has opted to break away from Wasps for the second time, the Ricoh Arena outfit would have been stretched to keep all their top talents in their squad next term and under the Premiership salary cap.

Rugby director Dai Young paid tribute to Cipriani, and backed the stylish playmaker to keep steering Wasps forward for the rest of the campaign.

"Danny is moving on at the end of the year and we wish him well," said Young. "We would also like to thank him for all his efforts in a Wasps shirt.

"As he says, now this decision has been made public we can all concentrate on the really important three-and-a-half months of rugby which lies ahead.

"This begins for Danny, the rest of the squad and staff at the Ricoh on Sunday, where our focus is fully on the challenge presented by Exeter."

Cipriani burst through with Wasps as a precocious attacking talent in 2006, helping the club claim the Heineken Cup title in 2007.

In 2008 a fracture-dislocation of his ankle proved a severe setback however, and his Test career would eventually stall on just 14 caps.

The London-born playmaker battled back to rebuild his career with a stint in Australia, before consistently pushing close to a Test return in four fruitful years with Sale.

Now, after a two-year second stint with Wasps, Cipriani appears to be ready to head overseas once more.

"Wasps confirm that Danny Cipriani will leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the season," read Wasps' confirmation statement. "He is currently considering his options before announcing his next career move."

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