Aviva Premiership
Cipriani must honour Rebels contract
ESPNscrum Staff
May 20, 2011
Melbourne Rebels fly-half Danny Cipriani offloads, Melbourne Rebels training session, Visy Park, Melbourne, Australia, April 12, 2011
Danny Cipriani could feature again for the Rebels in early June © Getty Images

Melbourne Rebels insist troubled fly-half Danny Cipriani will be staying with the Super Rugby franchise despite reports that he is seeking a move away from Australia.

The former England fly-half, who is contracted to the Rebels until 2012, has endured a difficult first season with the Rebels, encountering disciplinary problems off the pitch and fluctuating form on it. And in recent days he has been linked with a move back to the Aviva Premiership after Bath chief executive Nick Blofeld revealed that he had received an approach from Cipriani over a possible move.

Bath denied that they were interested in taking the 23-year-old and Rebels chief executive Ross Oakley has reiterated that they expect Cipriani to see out his commitment in Super Rugby.

"He hasn't asked to get out of his contract," Oakley told AFP. "I've spoken to his manager who told me there's no truth in the fact that he's wanting to go to Bath."

The fly-half was recently omitted from the Rebels squad to tour South Africa after being stood down for a second breach of their code of conduct. Cipriani was punished after staying out late following a defeat by New South Wales Waratahs in Sydney, having been warned earlier in the season for taking a bottle of alcohol from a Melbourne nightclub.

Following Cipriani's omission from the touring squad, Oakley said that the players and management had 'lost confidence' in Cipriani. But Oakley now offers a brighter outlook for the former Wasps fly-half's future with the Rebels.

"He's training here and has been working very hard while the boys have been away in South Africa, so we'll see how it progresses as time rolls by," Oakley said. "He's keeping his head down and working hard.

"He's doing all the things he's been asked to do as well as his training, so it will be how the team and team management see that once they get back."

Cipriani will come back into contention for selection for the Rebels when they return to Australian soil to play the Stormers on June 3.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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