Gloucester Rugby have opted against giving Danny Cipriani his first run out for his new club this weekend.
He had originally been expected to play some part in their pre-season game with Ulster at Kingspan Stadium on Saturday, but in the aftermath of his arrest and subsequent fine at Jersey Magistrate’s Court he has been omitted from the squad.
? TEAM NEWS
The Cherry and Whites squad for the opening preseason game of the new season against @UlsterRugby in Belfast tomorrow has been named! @tc_savage to captain the first half, with a number of new faces included. pic.twitter.com/GdfLfm18HR
— Gloucester Rugby (@gloucesterrugby) August 17, 2018
Yesterday Gloucester released a statement about Cipriani, but gave no indication that he’d been left out of the travelling party for the Ulster game as a result.
“Danny is very remorseful after the incident and would like to thank those who supported him during this time. He fully accepts the outcome and his punishment from the judicial system this morning,” read a statement from Gloucester.
“We are very proud of the culture we have within the group and the stated values which we strive to deliver against,” added Gloucester CEO Stephen Vaughan.
“Incidents of this nature are very disappointing to be associated with, and we will deal with it in a robust but balanced way but based purely on the facts.
“As a high-profile sportsperson there is often a large degree of public and media scrutiny involved, which Danny is well aware of.
“The incident in question was over in a matter of seconds and was a reaction to the conduct of other parties involved.
“He knows his responsibilities and is aware of the impact of this type of incident on the club. However, Danny is a Gloucester Rugby player and will receive our full support as we focus on the exciting season ahead.”
Meanwhile Cipriani says he has been reflecting on his “completely unacceptable” actions after pleading guilty to common assault and resisting arrest.
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The England fly-half was arrested following an incident in a Jersey nightclub and was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £250 compensation as he accepted two charges.
Cipriani has courted controversy in the past, convicted of drink-driving in 2016, and he is disappointed to have let an off-field incident again threaten to impact his “precious” rugby career.
“I have spent a long time trying to focus on the things that matter,” Cipriani told The Times.
“I fought hard to win a return to the England team and felt huge honour to represent the country in South Africa early in the summer. I am also incredibly excited to be playing for Gloucester next season. I am grateful that they have supported me over recent days.
“I have made mistakes in the past and was adamant it would never happen again. I have tried to behave professionally, to train to the best of my ability, to eat the right things, to do extra physical training in my own time.
“I know how precious these years are in my rugby career. I work with Steve Black, who is a brilliant mentor.
“What happened on Wednesday has caused much reflection. I am very grateful to the magistrate, who said that the incident was minor. But I am in no doubt that it was completely unacceptable.”
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