When Danny Cipriani made his Wasps debut back in 2006 he was seen as a maverick who would be crucial to England over the next 15 years. But his international career certainly did
not go as many thought it would.
How many caps does Danny Cipriani have? Danny Cipriani has 16 international caps for England, having made his last England appearance in 2018. He made his first appearance 10 years earlier in 2008.
Danny Cipriani had one of the strangest international careers, but it began with him having a huge amount of potential. Cipriani became a key part of the London Wasps side that won the Heineken Cup Final and helped his team reach the Premiership final a year later.
He was seen as one of the best prospects in the world in 2008 when he was called up to the England squad for the Six Nations. He was put into the starting lineup for the Scotland game, but was pulled out of the squad due to inappropriate behaviour, having been photographed leaving a London nightclub late at night in the lead-up to the game.
Cipriani would make his England debut a game later, which England won 33-10. Cipriani was part of the England team for pretty much all of 2008 but was one of the players axed after the team lost three straight games in the Autumn internationals.
Cipriani was in the international wilderness for quite a few years, where he also had a stint
in Super Rugby with Melbourne Rebels. After some good performances with Sale Sharks, he returned to the England squad in 2014 when England toured New Zealand. He made substitute appearances in the first and third tests.
He looked likely to be part of the England squad for the 2015 Rugby World Cup as he made five appearances for his country in 2015 but was subsequently left out of the squad for the World Cup. This was despite scoring two tries in 2015, including one in the warm-up game against France.
Eddie Jones did not see Cipriani as part of his plans when he took over in 2015, so Cipriani was again not in the international setup. But he made a surprise return when England toured South Africa in 2018. He became the backup to fly-half George Ford in that tour. He played two more substitute appearances on that tour, but these would be the final England games of his career.
Cipriani ended his international career with 16 caps, the majority of those coming off the bench. Despite being Premiership Player of the Season in 2019, Cipriani would not make another appearance for England, finishing with 16 caps.
Why did Danny Cipriani leave?
Danny Cipriani decided to leave English Rugby at the end of the 2021-22 season, leaving Bath. Cipriani left as he said he wanted to experience a new county and focus more time on his family. This was part of the statement that came out in the months before the season ended.
The statement from Cipriani makes sense as there had been plenty of rumours about him moving to the US to play in Major League Rugby. It would not be a surprising move for him as he often spends time in Malibu for warm-weather training. It would be the same career move that Chris Robshaw and Ben Foden took in the last few years.
At the time of writing, we have not seen any official reports of Cipriani signing with a Major League Rugby team, but this does not mean that his rugby career is over. Cipriani could still play at a high level and he has been named in the Barbarians squad for their game against Northampton Saints in November 2022.
Where will Danny Cipriani go?
At the time of writing, we are yet to see Danny Cipriani sign with a team after leaving Bath in the summer of 2022. At age 34, Cipriani can still offer something to a lot of rugby teams and it certainly seems like he still wants to play rugby. In his leaving statement, he ruled out staying in England, wanting to try out a new country. So where will Danny Cipriani go?
1. Major League Rugby
The USA-based Major League Rugby is the heavy favourite for Danny Cipriani for a couple of reasons. The first is that Major League Rugby has a history of offering ageing stars big contracts, with Ma’a Nonu, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Matt Giteau all extending their careers in the USA.
Over the last few years, we have seen English talent follow the same path. Chris Robshaw and Ben Foden are two of the high-profile former England internationals who extended their careers in the USA. Cipriani would certainly get the offers as he is just three years removed from being Gallagher Premiership Player of the Season.
Not only that, but Cipriani is a fan of the USA. He has spent a lot of time in Malibu for warm weather training in the past and Cipriani would certainly be attracted to the life outside of rugby in the USA.
There has been rumours about Cipriani moving to Japan as it is a common move for older players. At the moment the league is boasting international superstars like Israel Folau, Damian McKenzie and Kwagga Smith.
There have been a couple of rumours about this move happening and it would make a lot of sense for Cipriani to play out the final years of his career with a team that is offering a lot of money for his services.
There have been a few rumours about Cipriani moving to France, a move we have seen English players like Delon Armitage, Zach Mercer and Kieran Brookes take and succeed with. We have also seen Sam Simmonds make that move this season, followed by England forward Jack Willis.
It seems unlikely that Cipriani will make this move however as the Top 14 is an incredibly challenging league featuring some of the biggest players on the planet. It seems most likely that we have seen the last of Danny Cipriani playing rugby.