Cipriani: I almost quit rugby
Danny Cipriani has revealed he considered quitting rugby after being overwhelmed by the "negativity" of the scrutiny surrounding him.
The 22-year-old appeared to be heading for a golden international career before injury interrupted his progress. A career-threatening ankle injury and broken leg restricted his appearances but after making full recoveries he found himself exiled to the Saxons squad while his relationship with model Kelly Brook saw his profile elevated.
The former Wasps player, though, admitted the pressure had almost forced him to give up and told The Guardian: "I get scrutinised differently to other rugby players, which is okay, but there is so much negativity."
He added: "I don't want to be around it anymore. I don't want this to be the headline but there were times when I thought about quitting.
"I just thought: 'Is it worth it? Should I be doing something else?'
"I feel privileged to earn a living from rugby but with everything I was getting there were times when it just felt like a job."
Cipriani found himself marginalised under Martin Johnson amid reports his public profile and attitude had put him on a collision course with England's management.
In February this year Cipriani then agreed to join newly-created Super 15 franchise Melbourne Rebels on a two-year contract after discovering he did not figure in Johnson's immediate plans.
Cipriani admits he turned to counselling, adding: "When you're young and so much happens all at once it comes to a halt. I saw someone and it helped.
"Since I saw that person and made my decision I've been so much happier. But I still need a new start - and Melbourne will give me that."