Storied former Wallaby flyhalf Matt Giteau, who had said 2020 was to be his last year, looks like he might be going to reach for one more season – in the MLR.
The Sydney Morning Herald report that Giteau is set to join fellow former Wallaby legend Adam Ashley-Cooper, as the pair look to bookend their careers in Los Angeles with new MLR franchise, the LA Giltinis.
Should Giteau make the switch to the new MLR franhise, he will also be working with Stephen Hoiles, who’s been named as an assistant coach at the Giltinis. Hoiles won 16 Wallaby caps and forged a career as rugby commentator with Fox Sports in recent years. Former Top League and experienced Shute Shield coach Darren Coleman has been appointed as head coach.
Giteau would follow in the footsteps of a growing number of big names taking the plunge in the new competition, which has already attracted the likes of Chris Robshaw, Matthieu Bastareaud, Tendai Mtawarira and Ben Foden.
It’s would be a turnaround for Giteau, who told RugbyPass in April: “It was always decided that it was going to be my last year.”
The Giltinis would be a good fit for the globe-trotting halfback. Now 37-year-old, he has spent the last three season with Suntory in the Japanese Top League. “Even though I’m paid to play sport, it’s always been about the fun and enjoying it,” Giteau told RugbyPass.
The LA Giltinis made headlines in May with their playful name. The side, which is the 13th team in the league and the second to be based in California is named after a premium cocktail based on the Martini.
Based on Venice Beach, the club are in discussions to home fixtures at the 77,000-capacity Los Angeles Coliseum, the host stadium of the 2028 Olympics and the temporary home ground of the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams between 2016 and 2019.
They are owned by Loyals Rugby, who owns the Austin Gilgronis, which re-branded from the Austin Herd earlier this year to be named after “a new Texas-sized cocktail”.
The Giltinis will enter the competition in place of foundation club the Colorado Raptors, who announced its withdrawal from the MLR last month amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
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