Australia v Fiji, Canberra, June 5
Giteau happy with No.12 duties
June 2, 2010
Quade Cooper (L) and Matt Giteau will continue to rotate roles mid-game © Getty Images
If Matt Giteau is unhappy to be pushed out to Australia's inside centre position by red-hot Queensland Reds fly-half Quade Cooper, he is certainly not showing it in public.
Cooper has been preferred at first receiver for the Wallabies' first Test of the year against Fiji in Canberra on Saturday, a reversal of the roles he and Giteau performed in the northern hemisphere tour at the end of last year.
Although some consider Robbie Deans' selection a demotion of sorts for Giteau, the Brumbies fly-half was adamant he was satisfied with the switch and was eager to compliment his midfield partner as the pair fronted reporters together.
"Quade has been in red-hot form so it's good to run off him," Giteau said. "My role now is to try and take as much pressure as I can off Quade. I just want to fit into that team framework however I can - hopefully Quade will give me a few tries."
Giteau said mid-game switching between first and second receiver, as he did at times with Cooper last year, would still be on the agenda if circumstances called for it.
"It's pretty natural to mix in and out, especially the way we've been trying to play. For me, I feel really comfortable with the way it is and hopefully Quade feels the same.
"With the Brumbies this year I felt I probably played some of my better footy at 12 but also that I was maybe more involved with ball in hand when I was playing 10, so either way it's hard to say where I think I was best served. Quade had a great year for the Reds and when you consider someone like Berrick [Barnes] can't even make the 22, it makes you realise that with the quality of players we've got at the moment I'm just happy being in the 22."
Deans insisted that too much should not be read into the positional selection, but admitted Cooper's Super 14 form, which earned him the Australian Player of the Season award, had made him a must-pick.
"I don't know (Cooper) will be that conscious about the number on his back, he'll be more conscious about what's in front of him," Deans said.
Meanwhile, Fiji's preparations for the game have been hampered by prop Alefoso Yalayalatabua and scrum-half Nikola Matawalu being denied visas due to their association with the Fijian military. Vesi Rarawa and Rupeni Nasiga, a former Sevens international, have been called up.