Cheika enthused by Giteau, Mitchell

2015-07-06 12:07
Matt Giteau (File)

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 Sunshine Coast.

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 younger."

Read more on:    wallabies  |  matt giteau  |  drew mitchell  |  rugby

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