Deans confident Giteau will stay loyal - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Deans confident Giteau will stay loyal

By Darren Walton 01/12/2008 01:42:06 PM Comments (0)

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans is optimistic Matt Giteau will choose country over cash and not try to walk away from Australian rugby to chase riches in France.

Although he plans to spend the next fortnight or so weighing up his options after receiving a massive offer to join Bayonne on a deal that would net him almost $10 million over four years, Giteau is believed to be leaning towards staying put.

As tempting as the megabucks deal may be, Giteau also realises his options are limited.

ARU boss John O'Neill has already made it clear he will neither grant Giteau an early release from his contract with the national body - which expires after the 2011 World Cup - nor allow the superstar five-eighth to take a Dan Carter-like sabbatical to play in France.

Above all else, home is where the heart is and it is believed Giteau's heart lies with the Wallabies and he senses they are on the verge of a special era under coach Deans.

And while he has no plans to get in his playmaker's ear, Deans is confident Giteau will remain in Australia to try to complete some unfinished business with the Wallabies.

Since making his Test debut on the 2002 spring tour, the 26-year-old is yet to get his hands on a Bledisloe Cup, Tri Nations trophy or World Cup.

"He's got more to do yet," Deans said on Sunday.

"He'll make his own choices, as everyone does. Obviously we'd be hopeful that he'd stick around, but that's his call.

"Obviously if he seeks counsel, I would help him with his decision making. But, at the end of the day, it's his decision because he's the bloke who has to live with it."

Deans is relaxed about the situation because, although he views Giteau as central to the Wallabies set-up, he also knows they are not as reliant on him as when the new coach arrived in May to take over a side without a five-eighth following the retirement last year of Stephen Larkham.

"That's your aim always, not to be dependant, and I think we've made some headway to that end. Stirling (Mortlock) is no longer back-up 10," he said, only half joking.

Deans is more than comfortable using Berrick Barnes at five-eighth and is thrilled at the emergence on the spring tour of Quade Cooper as another viable option.

Proving he was up to the demands of Test rugby, Cooper backed up his match-winning heroics in Italy three weeks ago with a steady performance, despite being out of position in the centres, when called on to replace injured captain Mortlock in Saturday's narrow loss to Wales at Millennium Stadium.

"Right from his first moment in Test rugby, he's shown the ability to think beyond his particular channel and think for the team and that's a handy skill," Deans said.

"He's been exceptional. For a young man who is finding his feet at Super 14 level, he's shown in the opportunities he's had just how (high) his threshold can be.

"He's had a taste. He's liked it. He wants more. So he'll do what's required."

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