Wallabies backs on the up, says Giteau - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallabies backs on the up, says Giteau

By Adrian Warren 30/05/2010 05:34:53 PM Comments (0)

Senior Wallabies playmaker Matt Giteau has declared Australia's burgeoning backline still has plenty of improvement left in it heading into a new international campaign.

Australia commence a hectic 15-Test schedule next week with a match against Fiji in Canberra.

The final year before the 2011 World Cup will give coach Robbie Deans a chance to build on the promise displayed in last year's final Test against Wales.

With 78 caps, 27-year-old Giteau is by far the most senior member of the Wallabies backline in the 30-man squad named for the four June inbound Tests against Fiji, England and Ireland.

The growing influence of Australia's outstanding crop of young backs was underlined by their domination of the domestic Super 14 Player of the Series vote.

Quade Cooper (22-years-old, 11 caps), Queensland team-mate and halfback Will Genia (22, 11), Western Force utility James O'Connor (19, 14) and Waratahs utility Kurtley Beale (21, 1) filled the top four positions respectively in the voting.

"It's very encouraging that we've got this depth in the backline that we're able to hopefully develop," Giteau said.

"Because a lot of these young guys have only played a few Tests and there's still so much more improvement left in them."

Much of the speculation leading up to the naming of the first Test team of the season on Tuesday will centre on whether Giteau or Queensland playmaker Cooper will play five-eighth against Fiji at Canberra Stadium.

Cooper has not started any of his 11 Tests at five-eighth, while Giteau has run on in the No. 10 jersey for 26 of the last 27 internationals he has played since the last World Cup.

The dazzling Super form of Cooper has sparked speculation he could swap Test positions with Giteau.

"On the tour last year, there were times when me and Quade would mix a lot of the time anyway," Giteau said.

Asked how comfortable he would feel about going back to inside-centre, Giteau told AAP: "yeah fine, you get that extra bit of time".

"I think it's much easier going from 10 to 12 than it is going from 12 to 10, so that shouldn't be a worry if that's what happens."

Cooper nominated Giteau's influence on last year's Wallabies Spring tour as a key reason why he had gone to another level in this year's Super tournament.

However, Giteau was quick to deflect the credit.

"If I've been able to help Quade that's been great, but with the talent that he's got, you don't need to do a real lot with someone like that, you just let him play," Giteau said.

He compared Cooper's development to his own early days with the Wallabies when he said he said he took a lot from just watching Stephen Larkham.

Back with the Brumbies, Giteau said his form mirrored that of the team in that he played well at times but on other occasions was "a little bit off".

While considered one of the most richly gifted backs in the code, Giteau said he was still working on aspects of his game including his kicking and defence.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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