Super Rugby
Rebels' Cipriani promises no revolts
ESPNscrum Staff
January 15, 2011
Rebels fly-half Danny Cipriani is tackled by the Tonga defence, Melbourne Rebels v Tonga, Super Rugby trial match, Olympic Park, Melbourne, Australia, January 15, 2011
Rebels fly-half Danny Cipriani is tackled during Melbourne's first outing against Tonga © Getty Images

Danny Cipriani is promising to follow Rod Macqueen's advice and maintain a low media profile as he attempts to reignite his rugby career with the Melbourne Rebels.

The former Wasps fly-half made his debut for the new Super Rugby franchise on Saturday when the Rebels beat Tonga 43-13 in a seven try victory at Olympic Park. Cipriani, who had not played for eight months, started the game and was replaced after 40 minutes with head coach Macqueen giving much of his squad a run out.

The 23-year-old has attracted huge media coverage, on the front and back pages of the papers, since he burst on the scene and his appearance for the Rebels again drew a number of English journalists, who were in Australia for the cricket and tennis.

Cipriani revealed that he was satisfied with his run out against Tonga and was happy to follow the advice of his experience coach. "I feel alright," he told AAP following his first outing for the fledgling franchise. "I enjoyed it, it's the first time I played in eight months so it was a good time to get a run out."

As for the club's bid to limit his exposure, he added, "It was down to the coach to make that decision [to keep a low profile] and it's obviously helped me and it's helped the situation. I trust in his experience, Rod's a man who's won the World Cup ... he's had winning businesses so he knows the structure of winning and the focus in that situation so I'm just going to believe in what he says.

"I've had that [media attention] since I was 18 so I'm dealing with it now ... a lot of people will write whatever they want to write but you've just got to carry on with your job and do the best you can."

Macqueen was satisfied with Cipriani's first display for the Rebels but was quick to reveal his frustration with the continued media interest in the players' life off the pitch. "We're very aware of the press that Danny's had in the past," he said. "One of the things I'm at pains to point out is that it's very difficult when we're building a new team and we're always hearing about Danny. It's disappointing for him but that's one of the reasons he's come over here."

Cipriani, who fell out of favour with the current England set up and has not played for the national side since 2008, also suggested that he has not given up hope of playing in the World Cup next autumn. "I'm going to do the best I can and play the best I can," he told the Telegraph. "And hopefully I'll give myself an opportunity. If I do get a call-up I'm always going to be open to playing for England."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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