Since his departure from Gloucester in December last year, Danny Cipriani has been a free agent. He attracted attention from both France and Japan but this week has decided to stay in the Premiership after signing a one-year deal with Bath.
He started his professional career in 2006 and Bath will be his fifth club to date but now at 33-years-old, what does he still has left to offer?
A history of scoring points
One guaranteed asset that Cipriani can bring to Bath is points. He has racked up over 1600 points in his career so far and will be looking to generously add to that tally at his new club. At his first club Wasps, Cipriani scored a total of 688 points in 93 appearances and during his four-year stint at Sale Sharks between 2012 and 2016 he scored an impressive 590 points in just 76 games. Cipriani is one of the best in the world when it comes to kicking from the tee, meaning Bath will be licking their lips with every penalty opportunity.
Not only does Cipriani score points himself, but he is also hugely talented at setting his teammates up. One of his top qualities is his ability to manipulate the tempo of the game. Seemingly effortlessly he is able to switch gears and drive his team forward before cleverly picking his moment to pull the trigger and put those around him in for a try.
Much like Finn Russell, Danny Cipriani is often given the chance to go out and play with freedom and flair to get the job done. This open style of playing means the fly-half is relaxed and can express himself on the pitch with confidence. He is never afraid to try and pull something off and regularly provides that spark that wins games. Without a doubt, Cipriani carries a lot of pressure and expectation on his shoulders but he has the skill and the game-changing mentality to follow through.
What else can Danny Cipriani offer?
His range of passing is also something that will excite Bath fans. Cipriani is famous for his perfectly timed passing and on numerous occasions has managed to work himself into space and create a try-scoring chance out of nothing with his signature over-the-top lofted pass.
Along with his talent, Cipriani also brings a load of experience. The England international has pulled on the number 10 jersey for over 15 years now and has played some of his rugby at the very highest level. He guided his Wasps team to lifting the Heineken Champions Cup in 2007 and backed that up by helping them go on to win the Premiership the very next year in 2008. The ex-Gloucester man also has 16 caps and 64 points for his country and has played with, and been coached by, some of the very best to ever be involved in rugby. When he first linked up with the England international squad in 2008, Cipriani was called in as a cover at fly-half and full-back, meaning he worked alongside Jonny Wilkinson at the age of just 21.
Danny Cipriani biography
Over the years, Cipriani has struggled with discipline and has received a lot of criticism for his lifestyle and his choice of actions. He was arrested in 2015 for drunk driving and was arrested again in 2018 after an incident in a nightclub in Jersey. Although he has made some bad decisions, Cipriani fans will argue that he has grown up a lot in recent years and can be a real positive presence in the Bath changing room.
Alongside his actions, he has also been criticized for his defensive skills and been blamed for missing too many tackles in the past. While at Gloucester, however, Cipriani was instrumental in both attack and defense for the Cherry and Whites, especially last season that helped his side secure a seventh-place finish in the Gallagher Premiership. Cipriani plays with freedom but also knows how to set his line defensively in an organized and controlled manner.
At 33-years-old, he may be coming towards the twilight years of his career, but with the experience and skillset that he has, Danny Cipriani is still a very useful player for any club to have. Cipriani is one of the few lucky players that have that x-factor skill to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and make it his own.
His flair and confidence is game-changing and is just what a club like Bath needs in a 10 if they want to challenge for their first league trophy since 1996.
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