Giteau open to Wallaby return

2013-08-01 22:33
Matt Giteau (Getty Images)
Sydney - Former Wallabies playmaker Matt Giteau has not ruled out a return to Australian rugby before the 2015 World Cup despite leaving two years ago with a ''bitter'' taste in his mouth.

The Sydney Morning Herald's website reports that at 30 and after two years away, the Toulon centre says he would find it hard to knock back the chance to add to his haul of 92 Test caps but has no illusions about how hard it will be to crack top level rugby on home soil again.

''I'd love to be involved and given an opportunity but I just don't know how realistic that is,'' he said.

''I'm enjoying my rugby here.

"You'd never knock back the chance to play for your country but I think being over here now and not being in Super Rugby, you have those doubts about whether you still are good enough to play top level rugby like that.

"There are a few questions to answer first.''

Giteau has been missing from the Australian rugby scene after failing to impress Robbie Deans enough to be included in his World Cup squad for New Zealand in 2011.

He has since moved onto greener pastures with Toulon, helping them to the Heineken Cup earlier this year and he insists he has come to terms with his omission two years ago.

''Not getting the opportunity is OK, I've been fortunate enough to have so many coaches show a lot of faith in me and continue to pick me even if my form didn't warrant it,'' he said.

''I have no problems if a coach doesn't feel you're best suited for the group, but certainly the way I was told (about the World Cup omission) and the way things just ended left a bitter taste for me.

"That was my initial reaction but I feel and have nothing but fond memories of my time in Australia, and that I had the opportunity to play for Australia so many times, I'm very thankful for that.''

However, with Deans parting ways with the Wallabies after an unsuccessful British and Irish Lions series, the door may yet be open for Giteau in new coach Ewen McKenzie's Wallaby squad.

''With the Reds, Ewen seems to know his players, he seems to know how to motivate players and keep them interested, focused and quite disciplined as well, and that will be a big thing for the group,'' he said.

''Time will tell whether he was the right appointment but certainly change needed to be made, and I think at this point in time Ewen was probably the best man for the job.

"Robbie had had his opportunities at trying to build success and get the team going in a certain direction, so I feel it was time for a change.''

Giteau did however admit that it may be a while before he reassesses his future and consider moving back to Australia.

''I have at least this season to go (on my contract) and I might possibly reassess after that but like I said at the moment, they're all big ifs.

"I've got a two-year deal here, I'm enjoying my time here, my family's happy, I'm happy and I get the opportunity to play with so many great players, so I'm quite fortunate in that regard.''

Giteau and wife Bianca are raising their first child, Levi, in France and are preparing for the arrival of close friend and former Wallabies teammate Drew Mitchell, who has signed a two-year deal with Toulon.

''For me, now that some time has passed, it's been the best thing,'' Giteau said.

''I would have loved to have been involved in the (2011) World Cup, I'm not saying that I wouldn't have been.

"I would have done anything to have been involved in the squad, helping out however I could. But it has been a nice change …

"When you watch things like the (British and Irish) Lions Tests you would still love to be a part of the big games, but now that I've had a bit of success here I can let that go and wish the guys there all the best.''

Read more on:    wallabies  |  matt giteau  |  rugby

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