Cipriani staying at Wasps

Danny Cipriani has ended specualtion over a move away from London Wasps by signing a one-year deal to remain at Adams Park.

The 21-year-old is one of 13 players announced by the club today as having penned new contracts to stay with the Guinness Premiership champions.

Among them are England stars Tom Rees, Phil Vickery, Simon Shaw and Tim Payne.

Richard Birkett, Tom French, John Hart, Mark Van Gisbergen, Dave Walder and Dominic Waldouck have also committed for next term and the club has promoted former IRB Young player of the year Joe Simpson from its academy along with his fellow scrum half James Honeyben.

The news is a relief to the Wasps management who were dealt a triple blow last month with the departure of England Elite Squad members James Haskell, Tom Palmer and Riki Flutey to big money offers in France.

Director of rugby Ian McGeechan said: “We are delighted with the volume of players committing to the Club for next season and for those to come. This is a great show of intent from the players and our Board as we see a mixture of experienced and international calibre players combine with up and coming names.

“All of these play a pivotal role in our campaign both now and in the future and are core to the continuing development of the team and our rugby.”

Lawrence Dallaglio - recently appointed to the Wasps Board to, amongst other things, further support player contract negotiations - said: “It gives me a great sense of pride and satisfaction that we can list names like Shaw, Vickery, Rees, Cipriani and Payne in our squad - players who have shown themselves to be of the highest calibre on the domestic and international stage.

“London Wasps has never been based on individuals but on team spirit and camaraderie and when you look at the names listed today - Birkett, Hart, Van Gisbergen, Walder, you see men who have embedded that very notion, season upon season, and I am delighted that this will continue following today’s announcement.”

Of all the big names, however, Cipriani is the only one to have signed for just one more season, which could prove a shrewd move if he rediscovers his form of last year and increases his market value. Dallaglio’s work is done for the moment.