Danny Cipriani will return to England 'a better player and person'

 

Danny Cipriani believes he will return to England "a better player and a better person" following his 18-month stint with Melbourne Rebels.

The England international fly-half will be released early from his Rebels contract and link up with his new club Sale Sharks when pre-season training starts on June 6.

Cipriani's time in Australia was occasionally overshadowed by off-field incidents, while he has dropped out of England contention behind players like Owen Farrell, Charlie Hodgson and Toby Flood.

But he insists that a move back to the Aviva Premiership is exactly what he needs at this stage of his career.

"I just want to make the news for what I do on the rugby field," Cipriani told the Manchester Evening News.

"I guess, when it comes down to it, I've got quite a lot to prove to myself as I know where I can be and what I can do, and I want to achieve that with Sale.

"I think I will be coming back as a better player and a better person for the experience of playing with Melbourne.

"I've done a lot of different things in the 18 months I've been out in Australia, and it has all been part of growing up, I guess."

Cipriani, 24, will be back in England later this month ready to launch his Sale career after signing a three-year contract in March.

"As for aims and ambitions, all I really care about is winning and trying to win as many Premierships and Heineken Cups as I can. That is the main thing for me," he added.

"I was very fortunate to win a few trophies when I was younger at Wasps, and having got used to winning ways at such an early age, it's all I really want and what I strive for as a player."

Cipriani won the last of his seven England caps four years ago, and he has underlined a desire to play Test rugby again.

"Playing for England again is a huge goal of mine. but my performance and focus has to start at my club and right now all my energies are on pre-season with Sale," he said.

"Hopefully, if I can help Sale get off to a good start next season, other things will take care of themselves. But for me, I've got to simply focus on doing the best I can for Sale.

"I want to do the best I can for Sale and to help them achieve some great things, and I firmly believe that the best is yet to come."

PA

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