Giteau has inside running over Flatley - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Giteau has inside running over Flatley

07/08/2005 07:09:30 PM Comments (0)

Wallabies coach Eddie Jones says Matt Giteau is likely to play five-eighth in Saturday night's Bledisloe Cup Test against New Zealand despite Elton Flatley's eye-catching return to rugby at the weekend.

Playing only his second match in three months after an injury-riddled season, Flatley racked up 33 points to lead his Brisbane club side to a 99-point romp on Saturday.

Flatley declared himself ready for a return to the international fold after posting a hat-trick of tries and kicking nine goals from 12 attempts in the Brothers' 104-5 pasting of Sunshine Coast.

The 28-year-old former Wallabies vice-captain is in a two-way battle with Giteau to wear the No.10 jumper against the All Blacks at Telstra Stadium on Saturday night after regular flyhalf Stephen Larkham was ruled out for six months with a shoulder injury.

But Jones all but conceded Giteau would start at five-eighth, with Flatley to make his comeback via the bench.

"Gits has obviously got his nose in front. He's the one been playing consistent football but we're certainly not discounting Elton," Jones said on Sunday.

The Wallabies mentor said the only true gauge he gathered from Flatley's performance in such a one-sided contest was "he's fit enough to play", as is winger Clyde Rathbone, who made his return from a knee injury with an impressive try in Canberra's 41-20 loss to Sydney University in Sydney club rugby on Saturday.

"Look, both haven't played much rugby this year and it was good to see them both playing 80 minutes and (that) certainly puts them in contention to at least be in the (squad of) 22," Jones said.

Rathbone is competing with Drew Mitchell and Mark Gerrard for the No.14 jersey after Wendell Sailor was ruled out of the Bledisloe Cup and Tri Nations encounter with a knee injury.

South Africa remained at the top of the Tri Nations ladder after beating New Zealand 22-16 at Cape Town overnight.

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