Giteau happy at centre or five-eighth - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Giteau happy at centre or five-eighth

By Adrian Warren 07/12/2004 07:12:53 PM Comments (0)

Electrifying young Wallabies back Matt Giteau isn't above reminding Test five-eighth and teammate Stephen Larkham of his advancing years, but is adopting a wait-and-see approach about a permanent move to the No.10 position.

Giteau, 22, spent virtually all of this year's Super 12 and international programs at inside centre, until injuries to Larkham and Elton Flatley forced him to move to five-eighth for most of Australia's season-ending Test against England last month.

His accomplished match-winning performance in the No.10 jersey provoked even more talk about a permanent move to five-eighth down the track.

Wallabies coach Eddie Jones, who has compared Giteau to legendary Test pivot Mark Ella, said earlier this year he believed the Brumbies youngster would ultimately end up playing Test rugby at either halfback or five-eighth, the positions he occupied up until his introduction to senior rugby.

Giteau started one game for the Brumbies at flyhalf in 2003 when Larkham was injured in South Africa, and there have been suggestions that Jones would like to see him spending more time there next year.

Former Brumbies coach David Nucifora discarded the experiment of playing Giteau at five-eighth in the trials for last year's Super 12, but former Wallabies coach Bob Dwyer used him at No.10 for the Barbarians against New Zealand last weekend.

However, Giteau has yet to speak to new Brumbies coach Laurie Fisher about his role next year, though it is believed Fisher favours playing him primarily at inside centre.

"I will sit down and talk to Laurie. I think he's probably already spoken to Steve, or he will be talking to Steve, so we will just have to wait and see," Giteau said after returning to Australia.

"I think we tried to do that last year when Steve went to fullback and I went to five-eighth in the trials. It didn't work out at that time and we ended up winning the competition when Steve went back to five-eighth."

Asked which position he preferred, a diplomatic Giteau said they were "much of a muchness".

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