Gloucester complete signing of Danny Cipriani

Rugby Union

Gloucester have announced the signing of England fly-half Danny Cipriani.

The 30-year-old's contract with Wasps expires at the end of the season and he has decided to remain in England as he seeks to resurrect his international career. Cipriani, who has scored three tries and 64 points in 14 Tests, was recalled to the England squad by Eddie Jones for the summer tour of South Africa after a three-year absence.

He will move to Kingsholm after his international involvement and in time for the start of the 2018/19 Aviva Premiership season.

"We're absolutely delighted that Danny has signed for Gloucester Rugby," Gloucester's director of rugby David Humphreys told the club's website. "As one of the most influential and talented fly halves in the Premiership over the past decade, the chance to sign him was simply too good an opportunity to turn down. He's probably in the best form of his career, reflected in his selection in the England squad to tour South Africa, and his signing is a significant one for the club.

"Danny is very excited by the challenge of joining Gloucester and his arrival will strengthen our current options at number 10 and will complement the rest of the squad that we are still assembling for next season.

"At 30 years old, he brings a wealth of Premiership and Champions Cup experience to Gloucester and his signing is a real statement of intent by the club to compete at the highest level in both competitions next season."

Cipriani had received offers from France and Japan but to remain eligible for England he needed to stay in the country.

His arrival at Kingsholm will give options to head coach Johan Ackermann with Billy Burns and Owen Williams vying for the number 10 jersey, although Williams can be utilised at inside centre.

Cipriani will also get the chance on the big stage in Europe with Gloucester's Challenge Cup final appearance earning them a place in the Champions Cup next season by virtue of opponents Cardiff Blues already qualifying through the PRO14.

And the player is looking forward to the next chapter of his career.

"I've always enjoyed playing at Kingsholm and am excited at the prospect of spending the next few years in cherry and white and playing in front of the Shed," he said.

"Having spoken in depth with David Humphreys and Johan Ackermann, the future they have planned for the club is enticing and one that I very much want to be part of. It's the most exciting move of my career to date. I've still some important rugby to play for Wasps in the meantime and, when the time comes, it's probably going to be an emotional farewell. But that's the modern game, we'll part on good terms and wish each other well for the future. The next chapter of my career will be as a Gloucester Rugby player and I'm really looking forward to it."

Cipriani's replacement at Wasps has already been announced with the capture of New Zealand fly-half Lima Sopoaga.

He will sign off his Wasps career with a play-off campaign as Dai Young's side face Saracens in the semi-final on Saturday, hoping to advance to a final against Exeter or Newcastle.

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