England Rugby Star Danny Cipriani Axed From Gloucester Squad After Jersey Bar Fight

He won't feature in the club's pre-season friendly.
Court sketch of Danny Cipriani appearing at Jersey Magistrates' Court where he pleaded guilty to charges of common assault and resisting arrest
Court sketch of Danny Cipriani appearing at Jersey Magistrates' Court where he pleaded guilty to charges of common assault and resisting arrest
PA Wire/PA Images

Danny Cipriani has been omitted from Gloucester’s matchday squad for their pre-season friendly against Ulster in Belfast.

Cipriani was fined £2,000 by magistrates after pleading guilty to charges of common assault and resisting arrest following an incident outside a nightclub during Gloucester’s tour to Jersey.

The England-fly-half was also ordered to pay £250 compensation for the bruised neck incurred by a policewoman during the confrontation at the Royal Yacht Hotel in St Helier in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Cipriani has offered his apologies to police
Cipriani has offered his apologies to police
PA Wire/PA Images

Following the sentence, the 30-year-old issued a “heartfelt apology” in a statement to “my club, teammates, supporters and most importantly the police”.

“They have a tough and vital job and I’m mortified that, earlier this week, I acted in a way that I hugely regret. I am truly sorry,” he said.

Gloucester have selected a 31-man squad for their trip to the Kingspan Stadium, but Cipriani’s name is missing. He has also been charged by the Rugby Football Union with “conduct prejudicial to the interests of the game.”

Cipriani, who has recently fought his way back into the England squad, was on a team night out with his club Gloucester when a doorman stopped him from walking out of the bar with two drinks.

Prosecutor Samantha Morris described how he turned on bouncer Perreira and tore off his tie.

“He was physically aggressive towards the doorman, so the doorman activated his bodyworn camera,” she said.

The court heard this enraged Cipriani, who grabbed hold of Perreira’s tie, pulling it off along with the camera.

The doorman told police he wanted to make a formal complaint of assault and she went to arrest Cipriani outside the nearby Pomme D’Or Hotel.

Morris said he “refused to understand why he was being arrested” and “tensed up”, refusing to put his arms behind his back.

He had one hand in a handcuff but broke his other arm free, pushed towards the female officer and grabbed hold of her shirt, the court heard.

The policewoman sustained bruising to her right bicep and reddening to her chest, Morris said.

He was eventually restrained by other officers who arrived on the scene but was still struggling when he was put in the police van.

In a statement released on Thursday afternoon, Cipriani said: “I didn’t strike anyone or initiate aggression in any way.”

He added: “I was initially confused as to why I was being arrested by three officers.

“This led me to react in the wrong manner for a matter of seconds, seeking to hold off the police officers rather than accepting their decision.”

Mike Preston, defending, said Cipriani suffered “extreme embarrassment and knows he has let himself, his family and his club down”.

“He candidly admits he had too much to drink,” the lawyer told the court.

He said when Cipriani took the drinks outside he thought he was taking them into an outside drinking area and did not realise he was leaving the premises.

“The bouncer prevented him from leaving. He took exception to the doorman’s attitude and particularly when the doorman activated his bodyworn camera,” he said.

“He is more sensitive to such actions given his celebrity than you or I might be.”

Sentencing Cipriani, magistrate Sarah Fitz said the police do a difficult job and must be protected.

She told the sportsman: “This is one incident that started off in a minor way. You have pleaded guilty on this first occasion and it can be dealt with by way of a fine.”

Cipriani, who spoke quietly when asked to confirm his name and age in court, spent two nights in police cells following his arrest.

Wearing an open-necked checked shirt, he kept his head down as he emerged from court, ignoring reporters’ questions before getting into a waiting car.

Gloucester Rugby chief executive Stephen Vaughan described the incident as “very disappointing to be associated with” but said the club was standing by the player.

He added: “The incident in question was over in a matter of seconds and was a reaction to the conduct of other parties involved.”

Cipriani “knows his responsibilities and is aware of the impact of this type of incident on the club”, Vaughan said.

“However, Danny is a Gloucester Rugby player and will receive our full support as we focus on the exciting season ahead.”

Cipriani was on the island with his club during a pre-season tour, including a training session with the Jersey Reds team.

The nightclub fracas happened hours after England cricketer Ben Stokes was cleared of affray following a brawl outside a Bristol nightclub.

The 27-year-old was recalled to England’s Test squad after he was acquitted by a jury on Tuesday.

Cipriani has been in trouble before.

He was convicted of drink-driving after he crashed his black Mercedes into a taxi in London on June 1 2015, was ordered to pay £7,620 in fines and costs and was banned from driving for 18 months.

In 2013, he was treated in hospital after being hit by a bus during a night out in Leeds.


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