Super Rugby
Cipriani bouyed by Rebel recruits
ESPNscrum Staff
November 6, 2011
Rebels fly-half Danny Cipriani in action during a pre-season clash against Worcester, Worcester Warriors v Melbourne Rebels, Sixways Stadium, Worcester, England, August 15, 2011
Danny Cipriani is looking forward to his second season with the Melbourne Rebels © Getty Images

Danny Cipriani is eagerly looking forward to lining up with his "good mates" and new Melbourne Rebels recruits Kurtley Beale and James O'Connor.

The Australian duo will link up with Cipriani for the new Super Rugby season, which starts in February, after signing from the Western Force and the NSW Waratahs respectively. The signings had prompted speculation that the 24-year-old Englishman would be leaving the franchise following a problematic first season in Australia.

However, Cipriani went on to confirm he is committed to the Rebels. And far from being threatened by the acquisition of two players who are capable of playing at No.10, the former Wasps fly-half is excited by the prospect of playing alongside the talented pair.

"I was really looking forward to coming back and having my good mates Kurtley and James here," he told AAP. "We spoke about playing together before they'd even signed so it's something I'm really looking forward to; they're two of the best players in the world.

"Having them here raises the bar for everyone and I think it will make everyone realise the full potential that we have."

The Rebels finished with the wooden spoon last season, but after a promising three-day camp at Lorne last week, Cipriani believes they will be in good shape for the new season.

"There are still a few experienced guys who are going to benefit us but there's a real buzz and a brightness to the side which hopefully will put us in good stead."

Before taking the field in Rebels colours, Cipriani will line up against O'Connor when he plays for the Barbarians, who face the Wallabies on November 26 at Twickenham. However Beale will miss the match because of a hamstring injury suffered at the Rugby World Cup.

"I played with the Barbarians last year and played well. This year against Australia at Twickenham, it's exciting times and I'm very much looking forward to it. It's a great opportunity for me."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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