Cipriani Leaves Melbourne Rebels for Early Return to England

Melbourne Rebels fly-half Danny Cipriani will leave the Super Rugby team before the end of the season to return to England earlier than scheduled.

Cipriani, the first England international to play for an Australian team in the southern hemisphere’s elite provincial competition, had been set to leave the Rebels in August after signing with English club Sale Sharks.

“Going to be sad to leave all my teammates,” Cipriani, 24, said on his Twitter account today. “Made some friends for life over here. I said goodbye to the boys: got 5/6 words out couldn’t hold my tears back.”

Cipriani, who’s played seven Tests for England, was a marquee signing for the Rebels’ inaugural season in 2011 though was dropped from the team for a month because of off-field disciplinary issues. He scored 119 points in 19 games for the Rebels, including a last-minute penalty against the ACT Brumbies last year that gave the club its first Super Rugby victory.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Baynes at dbaynes@bloomberg.net

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