Danny’s back

Danny Cipriani will push for Lions selection from the UK next season. [more]

Danny’s back

Danny Cipriani will push for Lions selection from the UK next season.

The mercurial fly-half has signed a three-year deal with Sale Sharks.

Cipriani is currently in the second season of a two-year deal with Melbourne Rebels but had been linked with a return home for some time.

The 24-year-old has previously been tipped to link up with Lions great Sir Ian McGeechan at Bath but rumours of a likely switch to Sale surfaced earlier this year.

Cipraini has now confirmed his decision to head to Manchester at the end of the Super 15 season, stating his desire to playing alongside former Lions Andy Powell and Mark Cueto among the reasons for his transfer.

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“I am going to be playing for Sale Sharks,” Cipriani tweeted.

“I am looking forward to playing with the likes of Andy Powell and Mark Cueto.

"I'm 100% committed to the Melbourne Rebels for the season, learning a lot from the coaches. The playing group is very tight, & continues to build.

“The Melbourne Rebels is a great club and will give it my all for the rest of the season.”

Cipriani will hope his move back this side of the equator will give him the best possible chance of becoming England’s first-choice fly-half ahead of the 2015 World Cup.

The controversial star was touted as the country’s next big thing when he burst on to the club scene as a 17-year-old back in 2004 but his England career stuttered under Martin Johnson and he left for Australia in 2010.

Cipriani hasn’t featured for England since 2009 but he believes regime change at the RFU will give him a fair shot at adding to his seven international caps next term.

The ex-Wasps playmaker has also publicly spoken of his desire to play for the Lions in Australia, telling this website that, “The Lions is definitely what I want to do. The 2103 Lions is definitely at the forefront of my mind”.

And with selection for Britain and Ireland’s elite due to take place in just over a year’s time, being back in blighty and in the eye of the selectors is unlikely to do his chances of inclusion any harm.

“Danny feels Sale give him the best opportunity to fulfil his aspirations to be England's number one fly-half,” said Sale boss Steve Diamond.

“Danny has been targeted by many European clubs but has chosen to be based in Manchester.”

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