LONDON (Reuters) - Maverick England flyhalf Danny Cipriani is returning to his former club Wasps in a bid to revive his international career.
The 28-year-old will leave Sale Sharks at the end of the season to join Wasps, a more high-profile club where he will hope to get the chance to impress new England coach Eddie Jones.
“I’m excited about returning to Wasps next season. For me, it really does feel like coming home,” Cipriani told the Wasps website.
“In the professional era, players naturally move clubs more frequently than they used to, but I still feel such a strong connection with Wasps. It’s where I learnt my trade.”
Cipriani, a gifted and exciting attacking player but whose defensive qualities have been questioned, has played 14 times for England and was named in their provisional World Cup squad last year.
He did not make the final cut, however, and was involved in a heated training-ground argument with England backs coach Mike Catt, one of a number of incidents that have dogged Cipriani’s career.
He played for Melbourne rebels in Super Rugby in 2011 and was dropped following his behaviour off the field.
“I feel much more equipped to handle and deal with the expectation that comes when you put on the black and gold jersey,” Cipriani added.
“There’s something about Wasps which always draws you in. ‘Once a Wasp, always a Wasp’ is more than just a saying when you’ve been part of the club.”
Wasps coach Dai Young is building a strong squad following the club’s relocation to Coventry from London in 2014 and they have reached the quarter-finals of this season’s European Champions Cup.
They won the continent’s most prestigious club competition in 2004 and 2007, Cipriani starting the latter final victory over Leicester at fullback.
“Everyone knows how talented a player Danny is and how much his game has developed since he made such an impact for England at a young age,” Young said.
”As well as his obvious attacking attributes, Danny has matured as a player and controls the game well as a 10. At 28, there is still plenty more to come from him.”
Reporting by Ed Osmond, editing by Pritha Sarkar