Cipriani: why I signed
Friday 06 March 2009
England star Danny Cipriani insisted he is "Wasps through and through" after signing a one-year deal to stay with the Guinness Premiership champions.
The 21-year-old has put pen to paper for one more year at Adams Park, opting not to follow clubmates James Haskell, Riki Flutey and Tom Palmer to France in big-money moves at the end of the season.
Cipriani is one of 13 Wasps players whose commitment to the London club "for the 2009-10 season and beyond" was confirmed today, although his is one of the shorter contracts.
Phil Vickery and Tom Payne, flanker Tom Rees and 35-year-old lock Simon Shaw are among the others. Vickery, Rees and Shaw have signed for two more years, Payne for three.
England boss Martin Johnson warned that going abroad could affect a player’s chances of England duty and Cipriani admitted he had options to move, but said:.
"Obviously it was good to have the options, but I just wanted to make sure other players were signing (for Wasps) and once I knew I was straight on the dotted line.
"There was not much thought. I've been at Wasps since I was 15 and love it here.
"I made my decision purely on that I enjoy my rugby at Wasps. It's such a good environment with a really good team spirit.
"I've got respect for the three who are going. They are going to a different lifestyle of rugby, Riki and Tom are probably getting their last big contract and James will experience a different type of rugby and is going to come back a better player for it.
"It's all positive for them. It will be difficult to replace them, but we'll definitely be able to do so because that's part of what Wasps is about."
And when questioned over the length of the deal, the fly-half said:
"It's just a one-year deal because then we can see how we move forward. By the end of this year I could have signed for another three on top of it - it's just making sure that everything is right."
Haskell was reported to have been offered an annual wage of around £300,000 by Stade Francais, while Cipriani was thought to have demanded anything from £200,000 to £350,000 in salary. It is rumoured that he had been offered a £170,000 contract by Wasps.
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