Giteau a different animal in 2011: Friend - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Giteau a different animal in 2011: Friend

By Adrian Warren 09/02/2011 05:26:34 PM Comments (0)

Brumbies coach Andy Friend says a reinvigorated and refreshed Matt Giteau is a "completely different animal" following his quiet 2010, as he prepares to have his first hit out of the new season.

By his own high standards, inside-back Giteau had a patchy 2010 for both the Brumbies and the Wallabies.

It culminated in him being dumped from the Australian starting team for the first time in five years for the Test against Italy on the Wallabies' European tour.

However, Friend senses Giteau is a more settled person following his recent marriage to netballer Bianca Franklin and expects the classy five-eighth and inside centre to have a good year.

Giteau is expected to get his first run of 2011 in the Brumbies final trial against New Zealand's Hurricanes in Canberra on Thursday.

"He's come back refreshed and reinvigorated, I can sense a completely different animal," Friend told AAP.

"He's got married, he's come back refreshed and re-invigorated, ready to go for a good year so we are excited about that."

He said Giteau was open to playing either at five-eighth or inside centre, but planned to start him in the No.10 jersey against the Hurricanes after giving Matt Toomua a full game there in the 38-5 loss to Queensland in Darwin.

Friend said he still had several selection questions which needed answering prior to the Brumbies' first round Super game.

He will give both Julian Salvi and Michael Hooper time at openside flanker, as both strive to replace the departed George Smith.

With Christian Lealiifano sidelined with a groin problem, Friend said he would give Wallaby Pat McCabe another run at fullback.

He was looking for a much improved performance and a harder physical edge after the loss to Queensland.

Skipper and No.8 Stephen Hoyle is expected to play half an hour of the Hurricanes game after returning from injury.

Wallabies skipper and Brumbies flanker Rocky Elsom isn't expected to return from injury until round six.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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