Paris - Matt
Giteau on Monday announced his departure from Toulon at the end of the
French Top 14 season to embark on a new chapter in his career in Japan.
"Taking this decision was the most difficult of my rugby career but
it's the best for my family to be closer to Australia," the Wallaby
playmaker explained in an Instagram post in French.
The 34-year-old, dubbed 'the boss' by Toulon president Mourad
Boudjellal and a key figure in Toulon's three European titles, added: "I
want to say a big thank you to the players (with whom I've made lifelong friendships)... the coaches, the president, and backroom staff since
"I owe a great deal to you all.
"I want to also thank the Toulon fans who will remain in my heart."
Giteau has only recently returned to full fitness after five months
sidelined with a broken ankle and leg fracture playing for the Wallabies
against New Zealand in the Rugby Championship.
He described his spell at Toulon, the club he joined in 2011, as "the best period of my rugby career".
He told his French fans: "My main objective now is to win titles for this historic club."
Giteau won three consecutive European crowns with Toulon from 2013 to 2015, and the Top 14 title in 2014.