Super Rugby
Cipriani commits future to the Rebels
ESPNscrum Staff
June 18, 2011
Melbourne Rebels fly-half Danny Cipriani offloads, Melbourne Rebels training session, Visy Park, Melbourne, Australia, April 12, 2011
Cipriani has had a controversial first season with the Rebels © Getty Images

Danny Cipriani has ended speculation about his playing future by confirming he will stay with the Rebels and vowed to work hard on his off-field behaviour.

The 23-year-old fly-half has endured a troubled first season with the Melbourne-based Super Rugby franchise with his well-documented off the field incidents costing him his place in the team and over-shadowing his notable performances. As a result the England international was linked with a move away from AAMI Park with reports linking him to English Premiership side Bath and French Top 14 outfit Toulon.

With the impending arrival of Wallabies Kurtley Beale and James O'Connor ahead of next season, it was thought that Cipriani may be considered surplus to requirements but the headline-grabbing playmaker insists he will see out the second year of his current contract.

"I'm staying and I'm looking forward to playing next year," Cipriani said, after scoring 12 points in Friday's 27-24 loss to the Force. ''Obviously there's been a lot of highs and there's been a lot of lows,'' Cipriani said. ''It's been disappointing in parts and I've got to realise it's a new club with new cultures and the way they deal with stuff - perhaps in other places it might have been different.

''But here they're very strict on the five star policy and their culture and I've got to abide by that. But I would say I've never done anything illegal or too far out, but I do have to realise I'm in a different country with different rules and to make sure we move forward. 'I'm hopefully making an improvement in my performance on and off the field because I want to try and be a leader on it … you have to be [a leader] off it to make sure you [are on it].

''Over the last month there's been a big U-turn in the way I'm going to be and what I'm going to do. There's a lot of misunderstanding around me and being misjudged but I've got to make sure that I abide by all the rules and make sure I can move forward because I'm very committed to this cause with the Rebels.''

Cipriani has been embraced by Rebels fans and was the player to leave the field following their season-ending loss to the Force, signing every autograph despite being barefoot and limping after copping a knock to his knee that ended his match early.

"They've embraced rugby in a big way. To get 15,000 to our games is one thing, but they make it feel like 30,000," Cipriani said. "They are so behind us and we've made two star signings for next year so the numbers are going to increase, and if we continue to progress on the things we can do, hopefully we have a massive U-turn. It's not impossible."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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