Danny Cipriani’s rumoured move to Bath is looking increasingly likely, with reports this week suggesting that the flyhalf is in advanced talks to join Stuart Hooper’s side.
Neil Fissler in The Rugby Paper reported yesterday that the former England standoff is close to a deal with Bath, a move that was first flagged by John Evely in Somerset Live in February.
Bath’s need to find a 10 has been increased following an injury to new flyhalf Tian Schoeman. Schoeman joined from the Cheetahs in December 2020 but has suffered a season-ending knee injury.
Their front line flyhalf, Rhys Priestland, has picked up a niggle which forced him out of last weekend’s away victory over Newcastle, forcing them to promote centre Max Clark to the bench and Schoeman into the starting team. The Welshman, who is set to leave Bath at the end of the season to return to Wales with Cardiff Rugby, could be available this weekend.
Bath have Fijian centre Josh Matavesi, who is also adept at 10 and has been in fine form for the West Country side since signing in 2019, and 21-year-old Tom de Glanville, although he apparently considered more a fullback than a flyhalf by Hooper.
With Cipriani having left Gloucester mid-season, he is effectively a free agent and in the position to feature at The Rec on short notice.
Cipriani and Gloucester said that his sudden exit had come by mutual consent, but there were rumours of no-shows at training and that the mercurial playmaker was no longer happy at the club.
“I have mixed emotions about it,” said Cipriani. “I am sad to leave a great club, but I’m excited for the challenges I have ahead.
“I am so proud of what we have built together, and I have enjoyed working with everyone.”
Bath have typically been a team that has played with big-name signings at 10, and the gun-slinging, all-action game of Cipriani could provide a welcome boost to a side that has struggled for form this season. Bath currently sit in 9th place on the Gallagher Premiership table.
The 33-year-old has been linked with a number of clubs in France, Japan and the US, but Bath would provide the former England star with two things – top-class Premiership rugby; all conveniently on his doorstep.
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