Stuart Hooper denies Bath have signed maverick fly-half in Danny Cipriani
The Bath director of rugby, Stuart Hooper has dismissed suggestions he has signed a maverick in Danny Cipriani, backing the former England fly-half to spearhead the club’s pursuit of silverware.
Bath confirmed Cipriani’s signing on Thursday on a one-year contract after he left Gloucester in December, citing the need to take an extended break from rugby. He is due to arrive at Bath in May and will be slowly integrated into the squad with a view to hitting the ground running next season.
Hooper confirmed there is scope for Cipriani to extend his stay if it suits both parties and believes the 33-year-old still has plenty to offer, having beaten a number of clubs to his signature.
Asked if Bath would need to adapt to accommodate a more freewheeling fly-half than they currently have in Rhys Priestland, Hooper said: “I think that’s a bit of a misconception, I think Danny’s an incredibly structured player. He’s got the ability to find space in a structure brilliantly well. It doesn’t signal a sea change in the way we play the game, it signals a signing which is part of our development.
“There’s always a spotlight on the 10. And when he’s played some of the games of the type Danny has that spotlight intensifies. I very much see him as being part of the next step of the journey. The next way we develop our game. We believe it’s the right decision to allow us to go on and win trophies.”
Meanwhile, the Newcastle wing Mateo Carreras has been handed a nine-week ban for making intentional contact with the eye area of Wasps’ Josh Bassett. Carreras accepted the charge for the incident that took place in the Falcons’ 20-18 loss last Friday when appearing before an independent disciplinary hearing. The Argentinian may now have to sit out the rest of the season, depending on whether Newcastle reach the Premiership play-offs and how they fare in the European Challenge Cup.