A radio presenter and journalist who abused rugby player Danny Cipriani after he expressed his grief over ex-girlfriend Caroline Flack's death has publicly apologised to him.

Cipriani was targeted on social media by sports journalist Mike Parry after using the platform to criticise the media's treatment of her.

He was labelled a "failed rugby playing bum" and "truly pathetic" by Parry before revealing playing a rugby match had caused him to miss a call from her before her death.

Cipriani did not specify when she called or which game he was referring to, but the 32-year-old featured in Gloucester's Premiership defeat by Exeter on Friday.

But on Tuesday evening he publicly stated: "I want to apologise unreservedly to Danny Cipriani for my comments last Saturday following the tragic death of wonderful Caroline Flack. I had no idea you'd had a relationship with Caroline and misinterpreted your tweet. I offer my total sympathy to you in this difficult time."

And Cipriani accepted the apology, saying: "I don't know you but I know saying sorry is difficult, so I respect you for saying it. I've also jumped to conclusions. So I wasn't mad. Thank you for your message."

The initial abuse directed at Cipriani on Twitter
The initial abuse directed at Cipriani on Twitter

On Monday, Cipriani's club Gloucester announced they would use their next home match to raise awareness around mental health as they continue to "look after" the outside-half.

Gloucester chief executive Lance Bradley told BBC Points West the game with Sale on February 28 will raise awareness of mental health and look to turn "an awful negative into something positive".

"It [the idea] came about over the weekend with the terribly sad news about Caroline Flack, and obviously one of our players was very close to her, Danny Cipriani," added Bradley.

"I texted Danny over the weekend to make sure he was OK. We believe in looking after each other. He's clearly very upset about it.

"We're going to make our next home game a day on which we focus on mental health and we'll do it in support of a mental health charity. We're in the early stages of planning it. We haven't decided exactly which charity but we'll raise some money for them and raise some awareness of it."

“One of the things I can say is that Danny was keen to emphasise to be kind to people,” Bradley added. “As he put it: ‘That guy on Twitter [Parry] needs love. He needs support. Be kind to him’. That’s what we need to think about.”

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