Giteau set for Wallabies axe
August 17, 2011
Despite scoring a try against Samoa, Giteau was subsequently dropped by Deans © Getty Images
Australia back Matt Giteau has implied on his Twitter page that he has been left out of the squad for the World Cup.
The Wallabies are due to name their 30-man squad on Thursday, but Giteau broke ranks on Wednesday to suggest his omission in a cryptic message on the social networking site."Thank u ballboys, thank u linesman? That's it..." he wrote.
If further confirmation was needed - Giteau later Tweeted: "Really wanna thank everyone for the support! Was a huge honour to get the chance to represent my country as often as I did. #veryprivileged."
Giteau's place in the squad has been uncertain after he had fallen out of favour since the Wallabies' shock loss to Samoa last month. The veteran of 91 Tests has not been included in the match-day squad since. Should Giteau be left out of Australia's squad it could spell the end of his international career with the 28-year-old due to join French side Toulon after the World Cup.
Despite the increasing likelihood of the back being left out of Robbie Deans' squad, Giteau has received support from some former Australian internationals. Stephen Larkham - who guided the Wallabies to World Cup victory in 1999 - said: "You need guys who play multiple positions and can be called upon to play anywhere in the backline.
"Gits can play anywhere, including halfback. He's very versatile, is a left-foot option and is very experienced. You want someone like that in the squad."
Meanwhile Mark Ella - who starred during the Wallabies 1984 Grand Slam tour - said: "He's too good a player to leave out of the squad in total. I think he'll make it. I don't know how much game time he'll get; he's certainly on the outer in terms of the run-on side."
Australia's coach Robbie Deans will arrive in Sydney on Wednesday ahead of Thursday's squad announcements for final fitness tests. He claims that he has settled on the party charged with bringing the William Webb Ellis Cup back down under and says he does not expect any surprises in the last minute fitness tests.
"We've had all those internal selection discussions and we're clear in our mind," he said. "We've been watching (the injured players) and we know where they're at, but today is an opportunity to see them and talk to them. We've got the squad resolved; it's just communicating it now."
There are question marks over the fitness of hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau, prop James Slipper, back-rower Wycliff Palu and winger Drew Mitchell who are all yet to feature in the summer internationals. All four sustained injuries during the Super Rugby season which they are yet to recover from though they have met Deans in Sydney in a bid to emphasise their case for a place in the final 30.
Giteau's tweet is not the first time an Australian sportsman has used Twitter to reveal they had been left out of international duty. Two years ago Test cricket opener Phil Hughes tweeted he had been dropped on the morning of the third Ashes Test in England.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
From Burgess to Boudjellal, Haskell to Honey Badgers and retirees to Retallick, here's the Quotes of 2014
It was another bumper year of rugby action in 2014; join us as we take a look back at some of the season's top statistics
Salary caps, Saints, sinners and scrums - Monday Maul looks back at the key talking points from an eventful weekend