Giteau faces RWC axe

2011-08-15 07:18

Sydney - Matt Giteau's Rugby World Cup hopes, and perhaps even his nine-year test career, look to be hanging by a thread this week as Wallabies coach Robbie Deans ponders his options ahead of the announcement of his squad for rugby's showpiece event.

While Quade Cooper was further cementing his place as Australia's first-choice flyhalf in the 14-9 victory over the Springboks at the weekend, Giteau turned out in the losing cause for his club side Randwick in Sydney.

Although he played superbly and scored two tries, Giteau's star has fallen sufficiently that there would be no great surprise if he was to be omitted when Deans names his World Cup party on Thursday.

"We've got some tough calls to make this week and there is going to be some pain," Deans told reporters after the match in Durban.

Just two years ago, Giteau won the John Eales Medal as the outstanding Australian of the season and also earned a nomination for the IRB's world player of the year, the second time he had been included in the shortlist after 2004.

Giteau, who has scored 684 points in 92 tests since his debut in 2002, may have moved to inside centre when Cooper appeared on the test scene but it was this very versatility that made him a certainty for the World Cup squad in many eyes.

A disappointing 2011 Super rugby campaign with the ailing Brumbies, however, was compounded by a poor performance when he was offered the chance to claim the position as Cooper's back-up in the defeat to Samoa that opened Australia's season.

Dropped for the last three matches amid rumours of a rift with Deans, Giteau returned to club rugby and watched while others were able to stake their claims for squad spots in the Tri-Nations.

Pat McCabe has impressed at inside centre in the last four tests and scored Australia's only try in South Africa on Saturday, while full back Kurtley Beale and winger James O'Connor, both of whom can play at flyhalf, are clearly integral to Deans's plans.

Ironically, though, it is another player who turned out in Sydney club rugby at the weekend that could end up denying Giteau his ticket to New Zealand.

Berrick Barnes, who offers similar versatility to Giteau and can also play at fullback, took a break from rugby in June after suffering a series of concussions but on Saturday continued his comeback with 26 points for Sydney University.

Deans is characteristically keeping his thoughts to himself over his selection dilemmas and, aware that injuries in a World Cup season can make a discard one week indispensible the next, is not burning any bridges.

"For those unlucky enough to miss out, the wheel turns," he added. "There will be opportunities. There will be injuries. You just hope those who do miss out hold on to that prospect that they could get a call-up and end up playing in a key game."


  • Bulldozer - 2011-08-15 07:34

    It will be ignorent to leave him out.

      Howzitekse - 2011-08-15 07:57

      Suspect that he is not the kind of player a strong coach wants in his team. Part of the rebelion at the Brumbies. PDV was not tough enough, and has apparently given his power to the senior players. Looks like we now have the same scenario that exists in the Cricket team, where the "senior players" call the shots when it comes to selctions and game plans. Jake White sent Victor Matfield home from the first training camp and allowed him back on his terms. To his credit, Jake did not take crap from players or management.

      Hardekwas - 2011-08-15 08:28

      Stem saam, Giteau is 'n 'natural'

      Gazza69 - 2011-08-15 09:35 are hereby made an honorary Saffrican...grab a green jersey and report to P-Divvy!

      Riaan - 2011-08-16 11:28

      Agree.. that showboat Cooper is a liability.... almost cost them twice in the last two games by dillydallying in their in goal area!

  • evereadydude - 2011-08-15 08:03

    Kan nie verstaan dat daar nie een wit sokkerspeler in Chiefs, Pirates of Celtics se span is nie, waar is hulle transformasie programme! Hoekom net transformasie in rugby??????

      Bulldozer - 2011-08-15 08:08

      Ek kan nogsteeds nie glo Amy Winehouse is dood nie.

      Christo Present - 2011-08-15 08:15

      watse transformasie ??? Dit was die wittes se keuse om rugby bo sokker te kies . Hulle het al die voorregte in die verlede gehad en al die geld. Hoekom het hulle nie ook sokkervelde soos hulle rugbyvelde het nie ? Geld is mos nie 'n probleem vir die wittes nie!!!! Ek raak nou al moeg vir hierdie simpel redenasie. Die swartes en gekleurdes het nooit die voorregte en geld gehad wat jul wittes gehad het nie.

      Carl Muller - 2011-08-15 08:15

      Die wittes speel nie sokker nie. 45 % van alle geregistreerde rugbyspelers in SA is swart. Die meeste is in die Oos Kaap.

      Hardekwas - 2011-08-15 08:25

      Mense, as ek nou vir julle op die mooi Maandag in die Kaap kan vra, wat de F@$ het Matt Giteau met ons simpel kwotas uit te waai??

      !!Vrystaat!! - 2011-08-15 08:28

      @Carl Muller & @Christo Present - NOU praat julle lekker deur julle nek. Wittes speel en selfs met die sokker wereld beker het die mense van oorsee gese hulle verstaan NIE hoe kan van die wittes wat vir WITS speel nie gekies word nie, daar is 2 wat ongelooflik goed is, maar hulle word net nie gekies nie. Die 2 is glo nou land uit te danke aan die wat net swart wil sien op die veld. Die rede hoekom jy nie wit sin op die sokker veld is want hulle wil nie he ons moet beter wees as hulle in dit nie.

      Bulldozer - 2011-08-15 08:36

      Ou Christo is van Bokmakierie in die Athlone.

      Gomez - 2011-08-15 10:01

      Hulle is bang as daar meer wit spelers in die span is dan beryk hulle dalk iets.Shoe....Sal eerder verloor as wat n wit man my help ne?

      FJ2 - 2011-08-15 14:32

      *&^% racism. Any kind of racism should be eradicated. Somebody once said "I am part of all whom I have met" and, believe me, there were times in my life when I felt myself closer to people not of my race. We carry on with racism in this country, in our sport, our politics and the rest of society and we may find that, whether you are black, white, or yellow, we all cry salt tears.

  • Blou - 2011-08-15 08:22

    Ek het gister op my geel tuinstoel gesit.

      Bulldozer - 2011-08-15 08:53

      60% Van my tuinstoele is swart. Die res is wit.

      Shark-Chic - 2011-08-15 09:15

      Mine are Green :-)

      Blou - 2011-08-15 09:25

      You heard the man. 60% should be black !

      Shark-Chic - 2011-08-15 09:46

      Darn it. Have to go shopping this weekend! Think Makro will have in stock!

      Bulldozer - 2011-08-15 10:08

      Sharks-Chic, I was there over the weekend and they only had coloured chairs in stock.

      Drewka - 2011-08-15 10:22

      Waar kom julle aan die 60% ratio??? Daar is nie nastenby die belangstelling in rugby by swart mense soos by wittes nie. En ek dink julle mis die punt heentemal, rugby moet die wenner wees en nie die mense of hul vel kleur nie. Divv was 'n politieke aanstelling, en alhowel hy voor die TN's nie so sleg gevaar het nie, dink ek daar is beter coaches in SA rugby. Hoekom wil die regering alles opf#k wat goed is??? Hoekom word daardie tyd en energie nie eerder gebruik om rugby klinieke in swart areas te bou en belangstelling aan te wakker nie?? Hoekom moet ons apartheid omdraai sodat die rasse van SA verder uit mekaar spat?? Kan niemand dat die potensiaal sien as ons saam werk in stede as teen mekaar nie???

      Shark-Chic - 2011-08-15 10:26

      Actually i think the real point here Drewka, is that Matt Gitau has a 60% chance of missing the RWC.

      Blou - 2011-08-15 10:30

      Jy sien Drewka, tipies van sommige Sharks ondersteuners. Ons praat oor stoele, en jy bring politiek in die gesprek!

      Bulldozer - 2011-08-15 10:50

      Drewka, as jy wil politiek en rugby praat, gaan praat asb op n ander forum. Hier gesels ons net meubels.

      Drewka - 2011-08-15 11:14

      HA HA!!! Sorry ek is seker op die verkere blog ouens. Kom ons praat meubels dan... Help nie veel ons wil ons bruin imbuia sitkamerstelle verkoop as wit tuinstelle nie. Dit gaan net krom trek in die reen en verweer. Ek meen... imbuia is 'n duursame hout en hoort eintlik binnenshuis nie waar nie.

      Bulldozer - 2011-08-15 11:22

      Ek sien jy weet meer van meubels as rugby.

      Blou - 2011-08-15 11:32

      Haha. Skerp !!

  • jochem - 2011-08-15 09:34

    Van PDV en senior spelers gepraat, kyk bietjie wat die afgelope tyd gebeur het en na die manne wat nadergeroep word wanneer daar beserings was: 2010 einde-van-die jaar toer - Charl McCleod, Andries Strauss (Sharks). 2011 - Gerhard Mostert (Shark, pas oorsee), Ruan Pienaar (oud-Shark), Johan Muller (oud-Shark), BJ Botha (oud-Shark) speel oorsee, maar kom weer terug in die Bokgroep. Frans Steyn (oud-Shark) speel oorsee, maar bly in die span. Johan Muller (oud-Shark) speel oorsee, maar kry weer plek in die span. Adi Jacobs (Shark) glad nie internasionale gehalte, maar byt vas in die span, En wat het Hargreaves en Sykes vir die Bokke beteken? Niks. Butch James (oud-Shark) speel wel weer tuis, maar hy's 'n boesemvriend van Smittie van O/20 dae af. Dit lyk of John Smit eerder as Div span kies. As julle regtig glo dat "Springbok-keurders" die spelers kies, glo julle ook in die tooth fairy.

  • Maori - 2011-08-15 09:49

    Big mistake to leave Matt out!!

  • Drewka - 2011-08-15 10:26

    Matt is a match winner. It would be the biggest mistake to leave him out. Aus won't make the QF's if the don't go with experience.

  • Pete OJ - 2011-08-15 10:33

    Are the All Blacks all black? Colour is a perception. Every white player is coloured: in the sun they turn first red and then brown, Keep them out of the sun and they go pale, put them on a boat and they turn green. They are true coloureds the other pretend to be!

      Bulldozer - 2011-08-15 11:03

      Thanks for the explanation, Pete. Now I know why my wife and I carry on like coloureds when we get dronk.

  • Aldrich - 2011-08-15 11:06

    @evereadydude wrt whites and Soccer...The first Bafana Captain was Neil Tovey and we had great white guys playing for Bafana like Mark Fish, Andrew Tucker and Gavin Lane - In recent time we had or own Beeast in Booooth, the only other player to be chanted in this way was Fiiiish. I firmly believe that Mathew Patterson should have been in the WC squad he was very unlucky.....but players like Derick Keet, Wayne Sandilands, Keegan Ritchie (the last two playing for Chiefs and Pirates) are fighting for Bafana spots...David Somma (who is white) will be one of the best strikers for Bafana in the near future...let's have some the way WITS is not a club for whites - it's the WITS Varsity side...back to Giteau, will be a brave decision to leave him out of the squad...

  • Raymond - 2011-08-15 19:51

    Still a valuable,experienced player and could play a role for the Aussies in the RWC.

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