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What Bath now expect from Danny Cipriani after his full pre-season

By PA
(Photo by Getty Images)

Bath director of rugby Stuart Hooper has hailed Danny Cipriani for the amazing impact he has made since arriving at the club in May. The 2019 players’ player of the year departed Gloucester by mutual consent last December and after a short break from the game, signed for Bath – his fourth Gallagher Premiership club – in March having also had spells with Wasps (twice) and Sale.

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“Danny has been amazing, he comes with a wealth of experience,” said Hooper. “The biggest thing for me is the skill set you can see from the guy when you watch him play but just his willingness to help other people and his willingness to help those around him has been awesome. Everyone has been benefiting from having him in the environment.”

Bath kick off their 2021/22 Gallagher Premiership campaign at Sale on September 18 and despite the lack of recent action for Cipriani, Hooper expects the 16-cap former England fly-half to be fit and ready for the start of the new term.

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“He has been great (during pre-season). He has obviously been out of the game a long time, so there is a big excitement for him to get back and get the ball in his hands and get playing,” Hooper said of the 33-year-old. “I expect him to be (fit and ready).

“Obviously he is one of our players and we expect high levels of performance but from him in particular, I want him to enjoy himself, I want him to play games with a smile on his face and be the dominant attacking force that we have seen him be previously. Danny has done a full pre-season with us so he will be available right from the off and is ready to go.”

As well as relishing seeing Cipriani shine, Hooper is looking forward to the return of fans, with stadiums allowed to be filled for Premiership rugby for the first time since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. “We have had a pre-season this year. It has been good, so the anticipation has been building.

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“The fact that we have got supporters coming back in is the headline. It’s massive. The excitement that normally comes with pre-season is obviously heightened because of that.”

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