Melbourne Rebels fly-half Danny Cipriani has been punished by his club and warned about his future conduct following an incident in a nightclub.
The England international was given a one match fee fine after he stole a bottle of alcohol from a Prahan nightclub. The incident occurred after the Rebels heavy defeat in their opening Super Rugby match against the New South Wales Waratahs earlier in the month. Cipriani came on as an early substitute in that match as the Waratahs ran in seven tries to take the game 43-0.
The former Wasps fly-half joined the newly formed franchise in a bid to recover his form and push for a place in Martin Johnson’s England squad before the World Cup later this year. Before the start of the tournament he spoke of his battle with depression around the time he was dropped from the international set-up, but insisted his mind was clear ahead of the season opener.
Rebels coach Rod Macqueen admitted he and the management team felt let down by Cipriani and said that if he reoffended he runs the risk of being removed permanently from the team.
We’re all disappointed but I think it’s been handled well. The players’ representatives have looked at that, they’ve basically supported the club on that and they’ve worked with Danny on it.”
“It would be depend what the misdemeanor is but the reality is that should something like that happen again he would be standing down from the team which is putting the team culture in front of being a good player.” He added.
Cipriani excelled as the Rebels recorded their first Super rugby victory, scoring 6 penalties as they edged past the Brumbies 25-24 last weekend, and he expressed his regret over the incident in a statement.
“I have apologised for my actions and I regret any embarrassment my behaviour has caused for the Rebels,” it read.
“I am looking forward, focusing on my rugby and contributing positively to the team’s culture. If anything else happens along these lines again, I have agreed with the players that I will stand down for an appropriate period of time.”