The Courier-Mail

But re­called util­ity and long-gone Dingo haven’t made up

- JAMIE PANDARAM

MATT Giteau has re­vealed that he and Rob­bie Deans have not spo­ken since the for­mer Wal­la­bies coach axed the play­maker from the team be­fore the 2011 World Cup, and Giteau is now glad to be un­der a coach who be­lieves in him.

Wal­la­bies coach Michael Cheika brought Giteau back from French club rugby and in three Tests since reignit­ing his in­ter­na­tional ca­reer, Giteau has shown he could be a key player in the na­tion’s World Cup cam­paign.

Asked if he and Deans have spo­ken since his dis­missal in 2011, Giteau replied: “No, no, no, we haven’t been trad­ing Christ­mas cards or any­thing.”

But he has moved on from the deep bit­ter­ness that en­gulfed him in the ini­tial af­ter­math of his ax­ing.

“At the time I was mov­ing over to France, I’ve said that I was bit­ter at the time, but I had no right to be be­cause I’d been given so many op­por­tu­ni­ties to play for my coun­try,” Giteau said.

“It’s a to­tally dif­fer­ent flip­side. I had a coach that didn’t see my ben­e­fit – which is fine, I’m not say­ing there’s any­thing wrong with that – but then I’ve got another coach that’s brought me all the way from France.

“So to be un­for­tu­nate in one cir­cum­stance, but in­cred­i­bly for­tu­nate in another, I can’t re­ally com­plain.

“It’s a big thing, the World Cup is a huge stage, and I’m sure once we get to Eng­land it’s re­ally go­ing to hit some of these guys who haven’t ex­pe­ri­enced it be­fore.

“For me, I can’t wait to get in there.”

Giteau’s rev­e­la­tion comes a day af­ter Quade Cooper told The Sun­day Mail that he did not feel he had Deans’ sup­port dur­ing the 2011 World Cup, when iron­i­cally he was pre­ferred to Giteau as play­maker.

“That World Cup I was un­der im­mense pres­sure from the day that we left the shores to the day that we came back,’’ he said. ‘‘I felt that, at that time, I rode that out by my­self.

“Now I have a coach who be­lieves in me, my team­mates, we all be­lieve in each other, and so I feel a lot more con­fi­dent, I know what I am up again­stg st now. now.”

Giteau, 32, was a shock omis­sion from Deans’ 2011 squad, and left Aus­tralian rugby for France, where he ex­celled at Toulon, help­ing to de­liver the club do­mes­tic and Euro­pean sil­ver­ware.

When Cheika took over as Wal­la­bies coach in Oc­to­ber, and then presided over a Spring Tour that in­cluded three suc­ces­sive Test defeats, he re­alised he would need old, wise heads to have any chance of win­ning the World Cup.

He and oth­ers at the Aus­tralian Rugby Union drafted un­prece­dented laws, al­low­ing the na­tional coach to se­lect play­ers based over­seas if they had played 60 or more Tests.

Giteau, at the time with 92 Tests to his name and car­ry­ing the award as Euro­pean rugby’s best player, was the ob­vi­ous can­di­date for a re­call and thus the ARU’s ma­noeu­vre was dubbed “the Giteau law”.

“I’m not emo­tional as far as cry­ing, but you get the nerves and but­ter­flies, that re­ally proud feel­ing to rep­re­sent your coun­try again,” he said.

Deans, the long­est-serv­ing Wal­la­bies coach in history, was sacked with a 59 per cent win­ning record in 2013 af­ter hosts Aus­tralia lost the Bri­tish and Ir­ish Lions se­ries 2-1.

He has since moved to Ja­pan where he coaches Pana­sonic Wild Knights as well as stints coach­ing Bar­bar­ians teams.

 ??  ?? AXED AND THE AXE-MAN: Matt Giteau’s 2011 World Cup dream was crushed by then Wal­la­bies coach Rob­bie Deans.
AXED AND THE AXE-MAN: Matt Giteau’s 2011 World Cup dream was crushed by then Wal­la­bies coach Rob­bie Deans.
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