Has Matt Giteau played his last game of professional rugby?
Former Australia centre Matt Giteau could have played his last game of professional rugby union as COVID-19 brings the sport to a grinding halt.
Giteau says he’s hoping to get the opportunity to play for Suntory Sungoliath again after the Top League was cancelled for the rest of the season.
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Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the 103-cap veteran criticised Japan’s Top League last week for delaying the announcement of what will happen over the coming months, having already suspended the league in February briefly in response to the virus and scheduled a return to playing.
However, it was announced this week that the current league season has been cancelled, allowing foreign players to return home as soon as possible. Giteau responded to this news on social media, saying: “Special times we live in at the moment with coronavirus but the right decision was made to suspend the competition. Health and safety must always be number one priority.”
Giteau said on Twitter that it is “hard to imagine that I may have played my last game in Japan for Sungoliath,” whom he joined in 2017 following a hugely successful time in France with Toulon.
— Matt Giteau ?? (@giteau_rugby) March 23, 2020
However, he shared a message on Instagram recently saying he is hoping to play again for the Japanese outfit again. At the age of 37 now though, it is unclear what the future holds for the Wallaby looking ahead to the 2021 season.
This is the reality for many players though, that they may have played their final game for certain clubs, or even their final game of professional rugby altogether, but these are clearly unprecedented circumstances which players are aware of.
With an increasing number of airlines grounding their fleet, this announcement by the Top League may have just come in time, although some players are already experiencing difficulty returning home amid the crisis.
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