England and London Wasps outside half Danny Cipriani has agreed terms with the new Super 15 team, the Melbourne Rebels. He will leave the Wasps at the end of the season.
The move allows the 22-year-old fly half to broaden his rugby in new realms. However, he has already made clear his ambition to return to Adams Park in the future. A return to Wasps down the line has already been discussed.
On the news Tony Hanks Wasps director of rugby said: "Obviously we are disappointed that Danny is leaving, especially as he has worked hard on a return to form on the back of a couple of nasty injuries. However, knowing his reasons are based on rugby and personal development, we as a Club support his decision."
Cipriani said on the announcement: "Leaving Wasps is very hard - this is my home, I have played here since I was 15. It is a very special Club because of what it has achieved and the people who are a part of it. I see this move as the next step in my career and would never rule out coming back to play in England.
"Moving to Australia will be a new challenge. I have always admired the Super 14 as a tournament and the first team I ever followed was Wellington. I used to wake up and watch Christian Cullen and it was something I had always thought about. I think the opportunity of playing in a completely different tournament against different players at this time in my career will help me develop on and off the field.
"I want to be the best player I can be and this is a huge challenge and opportunity to test myself, on and off the pitch, because it will be changing everything I know."
London Wasps will face Gloucester Rugby in the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-finals on Sunday, 11 April 2010.
The directors of ERC voted unanimously at a Board meeting to postpone all decisions including the release of further instalments of ERC's distributable central revenues to the six shareholder countries until 19 February next when the Board will meet again to reconsider the issue.