Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young has hailed the news of Sale Sharks fly-half Danny Cipriani opting to return to the club next season as ‘outstanding’, noting that Cipriani will only bolster an already talented squad of players.
Cipriani, 28, will return to Wasps next season after reportedly agreeing a two-year deal worth around £300,000 a season after rejecting offers from Toulon and Harlequins, according to the Daily Mail.
Cirpriani returns to Wasps nearly 12 years after making his debut against Bristol in 2004, with Young claiming that fans have repeatedly asked him to bring back the mercurial playmaker ever since he arrived.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Young said:
“The whole club and supporters are really excited, as soon as I got involved at Wasps, and I bumped into any supporters the first thing they said was we’ve got to get Danny back.”
“We’re really pleased he has chosen to come back on board with us, we feel that we are going in the right direction and he is only going to add to an already talented squad.”
Cipriani will join New Zealander Jimmy Gopperth and Scotland outhalf Ruaridh Jackson as the club’s chief playmakers, with Young believing that Cipriani can bring a cutting edge to an already very talented group.
“I think he’s got a real cutting edge,” Young added.
“Everyone knows he can unlock defences and he’ll fit into the way we want to play the game.
“We want to play an attractive type of rugby and we want players than can unlock defences and he can certainly do that.”
While the move was welcomed by Young, Sale’s Director of Rugby Steve Diamond has labelled the switch as ‘misguided’, claiming he can’t understand the logic behind Cipriani’s decision.
“His reasons are clear: he thinks that by going to Wasps he’ll play for England,” Diamond told The Telegraph.
“I feel it’s a little misguided. Wasps have three players in the same position of similar ability, Danny Cipriani being one, Jackson two and Jimmy Gopperth. What they are going to do with three players I don’t know.
“I think Danny has been a fantastic player for Sale Sharks and for England when he got back into the reckoning playing for Sale, and I think there is a bit of a misconception if you go to a club in London or the south – and they are actually playing in the Midlands – there is a bigger opportunity.
“To be honest it came as a little bit of a surprise because we thought he had decided to stay, but it’s his prerogative and he chose to take that option.”
Whether it will improve his England chances or not, Wasps are more than happy to welcome back one of their own as the club continues to move in the right direction since moving to Coventry.
With a Champions Cup quarter-final against Exeter on the horizon and a top four finish now a distinct possibility, it seems as if Cipriani will re-join the club in a lot better state than what it was during his absence.
Jack O’Toole, Pundit Arena