Brisbane - French-based pair Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell didn't look out
of place in their first training session back in the Wallabies fold, coach
Michael Cheika said on Monday.
The Toulon duo, who are the first beneficiaries of the Australian Rugby
Union's relaxed eligibility rules for overseas players, were put through their
paces in a tough session for the 40-man Australian squad on the Queensland's
In a possible early pointer to how Giteau might be used on the road to
September's World Cup in England and Wales, the former Brumbies and Force
utility spent time running at inside centre alongside fly-half Quade Cooper,
rather than fulfilling the chief playmaker's role himself.
Cheika said he expected Giteau and Mitchell would have felt nervous
reacquainting themselves with the Wallabies set-up.
"It's different, it's a whole new shape of play, different
intensity," Cheika told reporters.
"But I'll tell you, they didn't look too out of place.
"They're class players, that's why they're back here.
"I'm sure that the nerve endings that they know they need to tap into
to play at the international level will be starting to agitate now.
"They're going to get really excited about the opportunity."
Cheika intends to assess as many combinations as possible during Australia's
camp this week and is keen to see not only how his foreign legion adapts, but
what the Australian-based Wallabies can learn from them.
"I've played overseas myself, I know you come back with different
experiences," he said.
"They can pass that down both on the field and then in the preparation
side of things as well, to all the other players.
"I'm looking at trying to get as much experience into the team as
possible to match up and merge with the players that we have that are