With speculation garnering in the media due to Matt Giteau’s absence from the Wallaby camp, following the return of Australia’s main overseas exponents who missed the recent series whitewash at the hands of England, it seem’s now that there is more at play in the matter.
With the return of Drew Mitchell, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Will Genia from France, Australia’s Rugby Championship aspirations have received a major boost as Michael Cheika looks to cut his current forty man squad to thirty by the end of the week as preparations have gotten underway.
Reports from French media are now indicating that Top 14 club Toulon are trying their utmost in preventing the return of 102-cap veteran Giteau to the Wallaby set-up under the Giteau Law which bears his name.
Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal won’t be happy after a trophy-less season and will be more so if he is to be without his predominant play-maker for the opening eight rounds of the 2016/17 Top 14 season, which is the the provisioned time away for Giteau if he were to feature over Australia’s seven tests from August 20 and October 22.
However, Giteau’s pride in wearing his nation’s jersey should by no means be called into question after it was revealed following the 2015 World Cup that Giteau took a financial hit in excess of €250,000 having agreed to take a cut in his wages for three months in order to line out for the Wallabies at the tournament.
While Giteau has informed friends and family that it is his wish to rejoin the Wallabies camp after making it to the final with what he has described as a squad which has built a ‘special spirit’, it would be unrealistic to expect Giteau to take such a deadly monetary hit again.
Yet Giteau remains as the most significant potential inclusion to Cheika’s squad and with World Rugby’s Regulation 9 dictating that players are released for Tests over club commitments, Boudjellal may yet be left reeling as Australia look to reinstate their international reputation and pedigree following that historic whitewash.