Danny's D-Day; Wasps Can End the Speculation over My Future If They Are Positive. I Want to Get Back into the England Team and Have 50 Caps by the Time I'm 30
Byline: Paul Morgan
DANNY CIPRIANI insists he will not turn his back on England despite being targeted by clubs in Australia and France for a big-money move out of the Guinness Premiership.
The 22-year-old fly-half, who met with officials from new Super 15 club Melbourne Reds last week to discuss a reputed [pounds sterling]200,000-a-year deal, has barely four months remaining of his contract with Wasps.
Having been left out of the senior squad by Martin Johnson, who warned that a move Down Under would end his international career as the Super 15 season clashes with the Six Nations, Cipriani plays for the second-string Saxons team against Italy in Treviso today.
With the Australians cooling on a possible offer, Cipriani still has the option of joining one of a host of French clubs, with Perpignan, Biarritz and Stade Francais leading the chase, but he is adamant that playing for England is still his ambition and says an attractive offer from Wasps would resolve any problems.
'It's exciting to pull the red rose back on and play for England again,' said Cipriani, who last wore an England shirt eight months ago, playing for the Saxons in the Churchill Cup in Canada.
'It was interesting to hear about the Melbourne offer. But I am in talks with Wasps, and they are moving forward. If they are positive, it will put a full stop to everything. My first loyalty is to Wasps.'
Cipriani meets Wasps director of rugby Tony Hanks on Thursday before flying to Italy. 'The next step is a major one for me,' he said. 'I am at a crucial stage in my development and I need to progress as a player and be in that squad for next year's World Cup. I will do what will be best for my rugby career.'
If Cipriani signed for the Rebels it would end any chance of him playing in next year's World Cup. It would also rule him out of England's summer tour to Australia and New Zealand when Johnson will take 44 players for five matches.
'That tour is a target for me,' added Cipriani. 'It is my dream to play in the World Cup, but I need to become a better player to do that to the point where I have to be picked by England. …