Melbourne Rebels expect Danny Cipriani to stay at club

Danny Cipriani
Cipriani signed a two-year deal at Melbourne Rebels in 2010

Melbourne Rebels expect fly-half Danny Cipriani to stay at the club despite reported interest from Bath.

The 23-year-old has a year left to run on his deal at the Super 15 side but a series of disciplinary problems have cast doubt over his future.

Although Bath chief executive Nick Blofeld said he had been contacted by Cipriani's agent, Rebels chief executive Ross Oakley said otherwise.

"He hasn't asked to get out of his contract," said Oakley.

"I've spoken to his manager who told me there's no truth in the fact that he's wanting to go to Bath."

Bath, who finished just outside the Premiership play-off places, were indifferent to the move anyway.

Blofeld told the Bath Chronicle.: "We have been contacted by Danny Cipriani's representatives but he is not top of our list.

"The approach came at the last minute. Obviously Danny is a very talented player but we don't know what has happened in Australia yet and we didn't want to go off-strategy and sign somebody at the last minute.

"But he is someone we have looked at before and somebody we could look at again."

Cipriani, who has not played for England since 2008, is currently serving a club suspension for breaching a curfew and did not travel with the Rebels side for two Super 15 matches in South Africa.

Oakley added: "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.

"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."

Bath are still to replace stand-off Butch James, who has returned to his native South Africa.

The West country club have been keen to sign a big-name replacement and had been linked with All Blacks number 10 Dan Carter before he confirmed earlier this week that he will stay in New Zealand following this autumn's World Cup.

Cipriani started his career with Wasps and was a key figure in their Premiership-winning side in 2007/8 and also their victorious Heineken Cup campaign the previous season.

He became Melbourne Rebels' first big-name signing in 2010 but his time in Australia has been overshadowed by disciplinary issues.

He has seven England caps but has not played for two and a half years years, having been out of favour for most of Martin Johnson's time in charge.

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