RaboDirect Rebels flyhalf Danny Cipriani has been released from the remainder of his 2012 contract with the club and will return to England.
Cipriani signed with the Sale Sharks several weeks ago and will now link in time for a full pre-season with his new club in preparations for next season’s Aviva Premiership.
“Danny goes with our blessing and we thank him for his contribution to our club during his time here,” said RaboDirect Rebels CEO Steve Boland.
“Essentially the time is right for both parties to part company, the decision is amicable and we wish him all the best for the future."
Head Coach Damien Hill knows Cipriani can play for England again having witnessed his playmaking abilities first hand since his arrival.
“When we signed Danny we were always aware of his ambitions to return to the English national team and we have always been supportive of helping him achieve his goals,” said Hill.
“Danny believes that leaving now will give him the best chance to prepare for the long season ahead with Sale.”
Cipriani played 19 games for the RaboDirect Rebels, scoring a club record 122 points.
Fans will remember him best for his standout game against the Brumbies in 2011 when he slotted one of his seven goals with less than a minute on the clock to secure a one point win, the first in the club’s history.
While disappointed to be leaving the club mid-season, Cipriani says his desire to return to England and prepare for the next English rugby season was the overriding factor in his decision.
“I want to thank the club for being so understanding with my wishes and granting me a release to return to England,” said Cipriani.
“I’ve made no secret of my desire to play for England again and I believe leaving now will give me the best opportunity to do that.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time in Melbourne at the Rebels. I’ve made some lifelong friends, played in front of an incredible set of fans in an amazing stadium, and improved my game playing in one of the best provincial rugby competitions in the world.
“I feel I have developed my game in my time in Australia and become a more complete player. I wish the Rebels every success in the future and should the opportunity ever arise again I would not hesitate to return.”