Rugby star Cipriani fined for assault

Pirate IRWIN
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Cipriani was fined £1,500 for resisting arrest and £500 for assault

England rugby star Danny Cipriani was fined £2,000 ($2,500) on Thursday after pleading guilty to common assault following an incident at a nightclub on the island of Jersey.

The mercurial 30-year-old utility back -- who had revived his international career in June with a first start for over a decade against South Africa -- also pleaded guilty to resisting arrest during the incident early Wednesday which took place on his club Gloucester's pre-season training camp on the island.

Three other charges were dropped.

A female police officer suffered bruising to her neck in the incident at the Royal Yacht Hotel in St Helier, the court was told.

Cipriani was fined £1,500 for resisting arrest and £500 for assault. He was also ordered to pay £250 compensation to the police officer.

Cipriani expressed his remorse via his Twitter account beginning with a "heartfelt apology" to Gloucester, team-mates and fans, but "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," he tweeted.

Cipriani took solace in the fact the magistrate termed the fracas as "a minor incident" but conceded he had been wrong to "argue with a bouncer, and pull on his camera tie" and in resisting arrest.

Gloucester chief executive Steve Vaughan said the club was "very disappointed" to be associated with such episodes.

"We will deal with it in a robust but balanced way but based purely on the facts," the club added in a statement posted on their website.

"The incident in question was over in a matter of seconds and was a reaction to the conduct of other parties involved.

"He knows his responsibilities and is aware of the impact of this type of incident on the club.

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

Cipriani signed for Gloucester earlier this year after a successful spell with their rivals Wasps which had sparked both a nomination for Premiership player of the season and a surprise recall to the national squad.

- Magical try -

Cipriani said he could have moved abroad but wanted to see if he made Eddie Jones's squad for the South Africa tour.

In June he started for England for the first time in a decade, playing a key role in a magical try that ensured victory over the Springboks and ended a six-match losing streak.

He had been expected to make his first appearance for Gloucester in a pre-season friendly against Ulster on Saturday.

Cipriani's career has been littered with off the field sagas that have damaged his reputation with the powers that be and restricted his international career since making his Test debut against Wales in the 2008 Six Nations tournament.

Just a month later he was dropped for the clash with Scotland after being caught coming out of a nightclub in the early hours in the week leading up to the game.

Seeking a fresh start away from England two years later he joined the Super Rugby franchise Melbourne Rebels, but again he got on the wrong side of the bosses by breaking a curfew and was given a one-game suspension.

He returned to England for Sale in 2012 but a year later in April 2013 he ended up in hospital after a night out with the team resulted in him being struck by a bus, escaping relatively lightly with concussion and bruising.

More recently he was convicted of drink-driving after he crashed his black Mercedes into a taxi in London in June 2015.

He was ordered to pay a total of £7,620 in fines and costs and banned from driving for 18 months.