Rugby Championship

Meyer: Giteau a Wallabies 'talisman'

2015-07-16 09:51
Matt Giteau (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has heaped praise on Australian veteran Matt Giteau ahead of Saturday's Rugby Cghampionship clash against the Wallabies in Brisbane. 

The 32-year-old is back in the Test rugby fold for the first time in four years since his decision to move to French club Toulon in 2011.

That move meant that Giteau was ineligible for Wallaby selection, but the Australian Rugby Union has since done a U-turn on that stance and now Giteau, along with Toulon team-mate Drew Mitchell, are both back in the mix as the 2015 World Cup approaches. 

Meyer has spoken this week of how strong he considers this Australian side to be, and he believes that Giteau's inclusion makes them even stronger. 

"World Cups are not always about the best teams winning it ... you need guys who can win under pressure, and the guys who can do that are the guys with experience," Meyer said.

"I highly rate Matt Giteau, I think he’s an unbelievable player, whether it be at 10 or 12. He’s a great playmaker and he’s won a lot of championships and trophies.

"He’s a talisman for them and he can get their backline going with his experience."

Meyer added that Australia having two of the four sides in this year's Super Rugby semi-finals suggests that they will put together a quality side. 

"It’s very tough winning away from home, especially in Australia. If you look at our record we haven’t had a lot of successful wins here," said Meyer.

"I think they’ve got a brilliant team, they’ve been in form in Super Rugby and I think it’s going to be a big challenge.

"I want to keep some continuity. I have made a few changes but we haven’t had the incoming tour this year and only the one game. If you look at our 10, 12 and 13 they are inexperienced guys so I wanted to give them a game under the belt against Australia which I believe is going to be a tough Test match."

Kick-off on Saturday is at 12:05. 

Teams:

Australia

15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 James Slipper

Substitutes: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 James Horwill, 20 David Pocock, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Matt Toomua, 23 Drew Mitchell

South Africa

15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Beast Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Heinke van der Merwe, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Oupa Mohoje, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Lwazi Mvovo

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