Cipriani leaves Rebels

Flyhalf Danny Cipriani’s contract with the Melbourne Rebels has been terminated with immediate effect.

The Australian media reports that Cipriani and the Rebels have parted on mutual terms. Cipriani had intended to leave the Rebels at the end of the season to take up a contract with the Sale Sharks in England, but will now leave the team in the middle of the season.

The England flyhalf struggled with his discipline in 2011 and was at one stage suspended for a month for bad behaviour. In 2012, however, there have been no reported incidents of indiscipline, although there have been whisperings at the Rebels that Cipriani might leave Melbourne earlier than expected.

The news comes at a terrible time for the Rebels, who have just lost James O’Connor to a serious injury. With Cipriani no longer available, Kurtley Beale will slot in at flyhalf until O’Connor returns.

Meanwhile, Stirling Mortlock has recovered from injury and is set to start at No 12 against the Bulls.