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Captaincy would be 'too much' for Giteau

By Adrian Warren 09/10/2009 07:15:27 PM Comments (0)

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans believes his star playmaker Matt Giteau shouldn't be disappointed at being passed over for one of the leadership positions on their spring tour and has got more than enough on his plate already.

With longstanding skipper Stirling Mortlock replaced as captain by flanker Rocky Elsom, 73-Test stalwart Giteau was easily the next most experienced back in the squad.

However, the selectors opted for the emerging leadership skills of 23-year-old Berrick Barnes as vice-captain.

Barnes spent some time in the leadership positions at Queensland this year before pledging his allegiance in 2010 to the Waratahs.

There have been suggestions in some quarters that five-eighth Giteau has been unhappy this year and would not welcome a switch of positions with inside centre Barnes.

Asked at Friday's squad announcement if Giteau was disappointed at being overlooked for a leadership position, Deans said "I've got no idea, I haven't had that conversation with him yet".

"I hope not because it's about the team and how the team functions and Matt already has a huge leadership role within the team.

"You can even argue that what we ask of him is greater."

When a reporter asked why not make Giteau vice-captain, Deans said "he's still got enough on his plate, I think".

Barnes said his new position wouldn't change the playmaking dynamic between Giteau and himself and he wanted to repay the selectors for their faith in him.

"It's obviously a big honour, but there's a lot of responsibility as well," Barnes said. "I won't be changing too much.

"It's a big step up. I've got a lot to learn and I've also got a lot of guys around me who have had a lot of experience in these sorts of roles.

"I'll learn along the way, I'm going to make some mistakes but hopefully I'll rectify them along the way."

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