'I'm not behind mutiny'

2009-01-12 13:57
Matt Giteau
Sydney -  Wallaby superstar Matt Giteau has denied being one of the driving forces behind the player push to unseat coach John Mitchell.

As he returned to Force pre-season training this afternoon, Giteau claimed ignorance over the turmoil that has swept through the Super 14 club before and after Christmas, with a report by a retired judge into the training methods of Mitchell still to be tabled.

Giteau was entirely non-committal over his future in Perth after this year but he did agree to honour the last year of his contract after admitting he had briefly considered a multi-million dollar offer to play in France.

With a brief handshake the only public interaction between Giteau and Mitchell today, he said no player mutiny was being pushed by him.

"That can be put to bed, I was not even here," Giteau said

"We were away on tour, we obviously knew something was going on but we did not have any say, and did not really want to be involved in it.

"That can be definitely be put to bed that is certainly not one of the reason if I was to look at leaving.

"With all coaches you are always going to have your run-ins and disagreements, and there might have been times when we have disagreed

"There is a number of things - he is a forward I am a back, so we have different opinions. I have enjoyed playing here for the past two years.

With Justice Robert Anderson's report still some weeks away, Giteau claimed he has had little to do with the process of solving the club's internal divisions.

"We were overseas so we did not really get asked about that. It was not something as players we can control too much

"I get along with everyone well.

"When I was away you are concentrating on Test matches and you don't want any other influences in your life.

"In the end it is not really the player's decision, all we have got to do it turn up and play football

Allied to the apparent problems surrounding relationships with Mitchell, Giteau is also facing contractual issues. The collapse of the multi-million third party deal with Firepower left him seriously out of pocket and had him contemplating other offers.

"Pretty disappointing, but I think my situation compared to the mums and dads out there is small I suppose

With a year left on his current deal with the Force, Giteau said a reported $9.6million offer to join French club Bayonne had been tempting, although ultimately worthless as the ARU refused to sanction the move.

"It was (tempting) but nothing I thought of seriously. It was just an offer that was put to me but I quickly decided I wanted to stay in Australia.

"Not really, I said before I wanted to honour my contract ... and that is what I want to do. I have enjoyed my time so far in Perth, and I want to continue that for another year.

"A lot of the stuff that was said was not said by me ... when I had my break that was when I was going to decide what I wanted to do.

"I looked at certain things ... a little bit, not that seriously. I have got a year to go on this current deal and I want to finish that out.

"It (playing aboard) is something I want to do at some stage, but when I do it I am not too sure.

And as for a possible extension to the Force deal, Giteau said while Perth was home now, he had not decided where his heart would be after 2009.

"I am settled here, and home is definitely here - if I was to side that way (of leaving) it would be difficult."


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