Giteau would be RWC boost: Mitchell

2015-04-23 08:14
Matt Giteau (File)

Sydney - Matt Giteau's experience of northern hemisphere rugby would be invaluable to Australia if he was recalled to the Wallabies side for this year's Rugby World Cup in England, according to his Toulon team-mate Drew Mitchell.

Flyhalf Giteau, wing  Mitchell and flank George Smith became eligible to return to test rugby after the Australia Rugby Union changed its policy on Wednesday to allow some overseas-based players to play for the Wallabies.

Mitchell welcomed the move on Twitter but the winger modestly concentrated on what his club mate and Smith could bring to the Australia squad when he spoke to Fox Sports News from France.

"The important thing for someone like 'Gits' is playing up here in the northern hemisphere, you get a really good understanding of their psyche and their mindset up here, and what it takes to win a game," Mitchell said.

"The Top 14, the Premiership and the competitions up here are probably the closest you'll get to test rugby in terms of game management, the importance on set-piece and so on.

"The fact he is not only playing here, but frankly dominating it for a number of years ... he not only would be able to handle test rugby, he'd add a great deal of value in the World Cup squad."

While Giteau won the last of his 92 caps in 2011, evergreen openside flank Smith returned from a four-year international retirement to win his 111th cap against the British and Irish Lions in 2013.

"It still just amazes me," Mitchell added. "Again, if they select three sevens or something, to have someone like him just around the squad, with his influence on the younger players would be huge.

"And not to mention the experience he's got facing England and Wales, who Australia play in the pool stages."

Australia also face Fiji and Uruguay in the toughest opening round pool at the September 18-October 31 World Cup and Mitchell said the 203 caps of experience the pair offer could be crucial.

"World Cups have proved that experience counts more than anything," he added. "The teams who have won them, they've got the balance of youth and experience perfectly right."

While Mitchell, who scored 30 tries in 63 Tests before moving to France, focused on Giteau and Smith, England's World Cup winning former flyhalf Jonny Wilkinson suggested the 31-year-old should not write off his own chances of a recall.

"Don't count yourself out Mitchy D, you know you could do it and so do I," tweeted Wilkinson, who is now kicking coach at Toulon.

Read more on:    matt giteau  |  rugby

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