Bath have announced the signing of fly-half Danny Cipriani on a contract that will begin in May.
The England playmaker, capped 16 times, will step into the fold at the Rec ahead of Rhys Priestland’s departure to Cardiff Blues this summer.
In a surprise move mid-way through the season, Cipriani left Gloucester in December despite having another year remaining on his contract at Kingsholm.
As reported by The Rugby Paper’s Neil Fissler, Bath had retained their interest in Cipriani even after they had signed Tian Schoeman from the Cheetahs.
“After speaking with Stuart Hooper [director of rugby] and Neal Hatley [head coach], it was clear that Bath offered that opportunity,” Cipriani said.
“We talked about what I could bring to the club and what Bath were looking for in a fly-half; someone who could be part of an attacking mindset, who could help unlock that aspect of the game and inject additional pace and vision – complementing the quality in the team.
“I’ve been really focused over the past three months on improving my running efficiency and kicking.
“The club has a clear ambition and drive that aligns with my own; they want to achieve something special as a team, they want to win. That was a very appealing vision.”
Now 33, Cipriani’s career has spanned both hemispheres since its beginning at Wasps where he was touted as the ‘next Jonny Wilkinson’.
He spent four years at Wasps before leaving to Melbourne Rebels in Super Rugby in 2010, where he stayed for two years before returning home with Sale Sharks.
A second stint at Wasps followed where he emerged into the England frame to be called up to the touring party for South Africa in 2018. That same summer, he would leave Wasps for Gloucester.
Hooper said: “Danny’s abilities are evident; his game understanding and management are exceptional as is his skill set in the backline. He has a real eye for detail around the attacking shape, I’m confident that he will bring an exciting dimension to our game.
“We have made no secret of our recruitment in this key position. Our process, as with all recruitment and contracting decisions, has been thorough and diligent and we are now incredibly excited to be able to announce the recruitment of Danny.
“I have no doubt that Danny will become a valued member of our playing group and become an ambassador to the younger players coming through the pathway just as Rhys has so well over the seasons.”