Super 14 clubs chase Giteau's signature - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Super 14 clubs chase Giteau's signature

07/03/2006 07:14:50 PM Comments (0)

Matt Giteau, the hottest property in Australian rugby, will learn just how wanted he is on Wednesday when representatives from all four of the country's Super 14 franchises jostle for his signature for the 2007 season.

The 23-year-old Wallabies utility has played all his rugby in Canberra, making his Super 12 debut for the Brumbies debut in 2003, but comes off contract at the end of this season and is being pursued by the NSW Waratahs, Queensland Reds and Western Force.

Giteau's agent Greg Keenan and Brumbies chief executive Andrew Fagan will meet with representatives from the Waratahs, Reds and Force at a specially convened meeting in Canberra.

ARU official Shaun Barry will mediate at the meeting as all four franchises lobby for the silky services of arguably the most versatile backline player in international rugby.

Giteau has played 31 Tests for Australia, is equally at home at flyhalf or inside centre, has played top-level football at halfback while new Wallabies coach John Connolly is believed to be interested in using the gifted star at outside centre in the future.

At present, he forms an all-Wallabies midfield with Stirling Mortlock and Stephen Larkham at the Brumbies, but a move to the Waratahs at least would also offer Giteau an opportunity to play with a similarly star-studded backline featuring the likes of Lote Tuqiri, Wendell Sailor, Morgan Turinui and Mat Rogers.

Waratahs coach Ewen McKenzie claimed the Waratahs were no less or more a chance of nabbing Giteau's signature than their three Australian Super 14 rivals.

"I don't know if we're (lobbying) any harder than anyone else," McKenzie said.

"There's a very strict process that you have to go through. I guess a formal meeting that takes place, takes place in Canberra and basically you just lodge interest and see what happens.

"I think everyone's in the hunt so I don't know that we're any different to anybody else."

Despite speculation that Giteau has decided to move on from the Brumbies, it's understood he remains every possibility of staying put in the national capital.

It's unlikely Giteau will make a final decision on his future for some time and quite possibly not before the end of the current Super 14 season.

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