Wallabies great Matt Giteau turns down retirement to return to MLR
Matt Giteau has shelved retirement plans and will play on for the Los Angeles Giltinis as a 39-year-old.
The Wallabies great was man of the match in August’s Major League Rugby’s Championship final in August, the 103-test playmaker laying on two tries in their 31-17 defeat of Rugby ATL in their first season of the burgeoning league.
It could have served as the perfect time to end a two-decade career that features seven elite trophies in Australia (Brumbies), France (Toulon), Japan (Suntory) and the US.
Instead he’ll go around again under new coach and former Wallaby Stephen Hoiles, who replaced the NSW Waratahs-bound Darren Coleman after their title run.
“I was really content with the way things finished. It was such a super season to end up with a championship,” Giteau, who debuted for the Brumbies in 2001, said.
“My wife Bianca has changed her life to suit me many times but when she was keen and the kids were pumped for more of LA, it made the decision an easy one.”
Adam Ashley-Cooper, another former Wallaby, will transition into coaching as Hoiles’ assistant, while former Wallabies and Waratahs lock Dave Dennis returns alongside Melbourne Rebels flyer Billy Meakes.
“His [Giteau’s] best game for the Giltinis was his last game in the Championship game. That’s the sort of competitor he is,” Hoiles said.
“Straight after the final, there was a sense that maybe it was a good time to bow out for him but a month later the indications were he might go again.
“It’s a credit to LA and how good a time he and his family have had here.
“With Dave Dennis and Gits, they feel the job is not yet done at the Giltinis … they want to set up the club for success over 10 years, not just one or two.”
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