ENGLAND international Danny Cipriani admits it will be like returning home when he re-joins Wasps ahead of the 2016/17 campaign.
The 28-year-old will be back in black and gold next season when he returns to the club where he began his career as a schoolboy after rejecting offers to join both Toulon and Harlequins.
Cipriani, who has won 14 caps and scored 64 points for his country, made 95 appearances for Wasps where he played a key role in Wasps’ 2007 Heineken Cup campaign before moving to Australia to spend a season with the Melbourne Rebels.
He moved back to England to join Sale Sharks in 2012 and is honing in on 1,000 Premiership points, having already bagged 973 in his 130 Premiership appearances during his career to date.
“I’m excited about returning to Wasps next season,” said Cipriani. “For me, it really does feel like coming home.
“Players naturally move clubs more frequently than they used to, but I still feel such a strong connection with Wasps.
“It’s where I learned my trade, alongside incredible players like Lawrence Dallaglio, Joe Worsley, Alex King, Fraser Waters, Josh Lewsey and Paul Sackey.
“There’s something about Wasps which always draws you in. ‘Once a Wasp, always a Wasp’ is more than just a saying when you’ve been part of the club.
“I feel next season will be the right time for a new challenge, at a club which in my heart will always feel like a second home, where I know I will settle quickly.
“I’m really looking forward to playing alongside guys I started my career with, like James Haskell, Joe Simpson, Christian Wade and Elliot Daly, in a squad that loves to play attacking, expansive rugby.”
Cipriani is recognised as one of the country’s most gifted play-makers and he narrowly missed out on a place in England’s World Cup squad last year.
He previously made 95 appearances for Wasps and the club’s director of rugby, Dai Young, is looking forward to having him back in black and gold.
He added: “We have always been keen for Danny to return to Wasps and I’m really pleased that our Wasps’ fans, many of whom supported Danny as a young lad here, will be able to see him in a Wasps’ shirt again.
“Everyone knows how talented a player Danny is and how much his game has developed since he made such an impact for England at a young age.
“As well as his obvious attacking attributes, Danny has matured as a player and controls the game well as a 10.
“At 28, there is still plenty more to come from him, so we are looking forward to seeing the contribution he will make in a Wasps’ shirt, alongside our other talented fly halves, in the exciting backline we have.”