Danny Cipriani charged with improper conduct by Rugby Football Union


Danny Cipriani, who has won 16 caps for England, joined Gloucester from Premiership rivals Wasps in May

England and Gloucester fly-half Danny Cipriani has been charged with “conduct prejudicial to the interests of the game” by the Rugby Football Union after a nightclub incident in Jersey.

Cipriani, 30, was fined after pleading guilty to assault and resisting arrest.

RFU head of discipline David Barnes said: “We have high standards that we expect across the game.”

Gloucester chief executive Stephen Vaughan has subsequently criticised the timing of the RFU charge.

Vaughan claimed the charge came despite “personal assurances” that none would be brought before Gloucester had finalised their own discussions.

“We are surprised and extremely disappointed to have recently received notification of disciplinary action,” Vaughan said in a statement.

“We do not agree with the RFU’s decision to embark upon a disciplinary process before we have concluded our own internal discussions.”

Cipriani’s disciplinary hearing will take place next week. The date, time and members of the independent RFU panel have yet to be confirmed.

Vaughan believes the RFU’s decision to charge Cipriani so quickly was prompted by the high-profile nature of the case.

“There is no historic precedent of a player being singled out in this manner,” he added.

“We feel that this disciplinary process has been influenced by the significant media coverage of this week’s events and other external factors.”

Cipriani was fined £2,000 on Thursday after he pleaded guilty, and was also ordered to pay £250 compensation to a female police officer.

Three other charges – assault on police, larceny and being disorderly on licensed premises – were dropped.

Cipriani said on Twitter he was “truly sorry… most importantly [to] the police” and was “mortified” by his actions.

He was recalled by England for the Test series against South Africa in June, after three years out of the squad.

However, this episode is the latest of several misdemeanours by Cipriani, and England World Cup-winning coach Sir Clive Woodward thinks his England career is over.