Rebel Cipriani makes impact
November 13, 2010
Cipriani has begun training with the Melbourne Rebels squad © Getty Images
Danny Cipriani has made an immediate impact with his new team-mates at the Rebels by impressing during training for the new Super Rugby season.
The former Wasps fly-half began on a ominous note when his arrival in Australia was delayed due to visa problems, but having linked up with his new team-mates Cipriani has impressed in pre-season training.
Fellow Rebels recruit Nick Phipps, on tour with the Wallabies in Europe, says that the 23-year-old has showed good form in training and fitted in well with the squad.
"From all reports back there he's doing really well and fitting in well," Phipps told AAP. "He's good to talk to as well, he helps out a lot because he's just from a different continent. He knows different things and plays a different style of rugby so I think they're listening to him a fair bit down there. A couple of blokes said he's easy to get along with and have a beer with."
Prior to his departure to Australia, Cipriani kept in shape by training with various football teams, including Premiership sides Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham. He also spent time in the United States with Major League Soccer franchise Colorado Rapids.
Cipriani agreed to join the Rebels after it became apparent that his England career, which had looked so promising a couple of years ago, was permanently on hold. And while England prepare to face the Wallabies at Twickenham on Saturday, Cipriani is going through the paces with his new Melbourne Rebels team-mates.
Phipps, a 21-year-old scrum-half who helped Australia gain the silver medal at the Commonwealth Games, will fight it out with Sam Cordingley and Richard Kingi to partner Cipriani at half-back. The young No.9 has yet to train with his Rebel team-mates but is excited at potentially linking up with Cipriani after rave reviews from the rest of the squad.
"I haven't really seen a lot of him play but from what I can gather he's a great player and I'm really looking forward to working with him pretty closely and trying to cement that top spot with him," Phipps said.
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