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Page last updated at 17:01 GMT, Wednesday, 28 April 2010 18:01 UK

Danny Cipriani ponders 2011 off-season Wasps return


Cipriani keen to finish season in style

Fly-half Danny Cipriani says he would consider a short-term return for Wasps next year - if he fails to make England's 2011 World Cup squad.

The 22-year-old will join newly formed Australian Super 15 team Melbourne Rebels at the end of the season, which rules him out of the 2011 Six Nations.

But Cipriani said he could play in England during the Super 15 off-season.

"Between my first and second years there could be a possibility of coming back to play in England," he said.

"Wasps would be the first club I talk to whatever decision I make and will be the first club I think of.

Danny Cipriani and England boss Martin Johnson
Johnson (right) has not picked Cipriani since November 2008

"I won't do it this year. I have got a big period to condition myself which hopefully will put me in good shape for six to eight years.

"It will be difficult to leave Wasps. I have been here for seven years and thoroughly enjoyed it. I will miss that camaraderie.

"Hopefully I will be able to come back and see them in my off-season."

Cipriani signed a two-year deal with the Rebels in February, automatically ruling himself out of next year's Six Nations as the tournament clashes with the Super 15 season.

He has been out of favour for most of Martin Johnson's reign as England manager, who is gearing his preparations towards the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand, which starts in September next year.

But England backs coach Brian Smith offered recent encouragement when he told Cipriani he was still in the selectors' thoughts, despite not having added to his seven international caps since 2008.


Cipriani could face England ahead of their southern hemisphere tour to Australia and New Zealand in June after he was included in the Barbarians' preliminary squad to face the 2003 world champions at Twickenham on 30 May.

"Brian spoke to me at the club and said he had been looking at my game and gave me feedback which is great," said Cipriani.

"Playing for England is what drives me and it has been difficult because I have not been doing that.

"I need to find ways to solve the puzzle. For me, it is going out there to learn from Rod Macqueen. He is a coach of Sir Clive Woodward's calibre.

Dallaglio hopes to see Cipriani back at Wasps

"I can understand that (perception) but I believe the best way to solve the puzzle is to go to the Melbourne Rebels.

"It will be out of my comfort zone. I will be with players like Stirling Mortlock who is someone I can learn from.

"I am going out there to improve myself as a player and get to the level I want to get to.

"It is a chance for me to hone my skills and hopefully I will come back more of a rounded player and still have 10 years of rugby ahead of me."

Cipriani will play his last home game at Adams Park on Saturday when Wasps take on Cardiff Blues in the Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final..

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see also
Cipriani in line to face England
13 Apr 10 |  Rugby Union
Cipriani keen to finish season in style
28 Apr 10 |  Rugby Union
Carling questions Cipriani desire
12 Feb 10 |  English
Grieving Cipriani out of Saxons
28 Jan 10 |  English
Cipriani returns after broken leg
08 Dec 09 |  London Wasps
Cipriani closing in on comeback
30 Oct 09 |  London Wasps
Cipriani ruled out for six months
19 May 08 |  English
Cipriani lives up to the hype
16 Mar 08 |  Rugby Union
Cipriani takes Wilkinson's place
11 Mar 08 |  English
Cipriani axed from England team
25 Nov 08 |  English
Six Nations Young Guns - Danny Cipriani
27 Jan 08 |  Rugby Union

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