Giteau relishing new challenge
November 9, 2011
Giteau will line-up for Toulon in the Top 14 after his move from Australia © Getty Images
The forgotten man of Australian rugby Matt Giteau is eagerly anticipating the next chapter in his illustrious career ahead of his arrival in Toulon next week.
The 92-cap versatile back was unceremoniously dropped by the Wallabies after their shock defeat to Samoa and failed to make Robbie Deans' 30-man squad for the 2011 World Cup. And after the longest break from rugby in his professional career, Giteau is looking forward to arriving in Toulon and experiencing European club rugby for the first time.
"At the time of course you feel like you want to keep playing and you want to be a part of the World Cup, but that's all over," Giteau told the Sydney Morning Herald. "It's the biggest break I've had in 10 years, and probably one I needed in hindsight, I feel so refreshed, ready to play. Now it's about getting conditioned to taking those hits again.
"[Heading to France and Toulon] is the next challenge for me and it's something totally different. I'm excited and nervous for a new culture, I don't know what to fully expect."
Giteau turned out for the Brumbies and the Western Force while in Australia and despite the disappointing end to his career for the international side, the former Wallabies back insists he holds no grudges. Giteau said: "I've got nothing but fond memories of my time with the Brumbies and with the Wallabies, it is what it is.
"There are times when they feel you're not the best fit for the team and good luck to the guys stepping in and they'll play good footy." .
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Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league