Super 14
Giteau to return to Brumbies
February 21, 2009
The Western Force's Giteau launches a kick and chase, Western Force v Cheetahs, Super 14, Subiaco Oval, Perth, Australia, February 20, 2009
Giteau in actioon during his side's Super 14 victory over the Cheetahs on Friday © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Matt Giteau
Tournaments/Tours: Super 14
Teams: Australia | Brumbies | Force

Australia fly-half Matt Giteau will leave the Western Force and return to the Brumbies at the end of the 2009 Super 14 season.

The 26-year-old has turned down a two-year contract extension to stay in Perth in favour of rejoining the side where he began his Super Rugby career.

"I was very fortunate to have two fantastic offers to consider. In the end, it came down to a simple desire to return to Canberra," Giteau said in a statement. "Having committed to the Wallabies and Australian Rugby until the end of 2011, it was just my Super 14 future that I needed to consider."

Giteau also insisted that his decision to move back to the Brumbies was not a financial-based one. "I'm quite proud of myself and what I've done here," he said. "I feel proud of myself that I have honoured my contract and saw out my three years here.

"The fact I was looking at renegotiating to stay on longer obviously shows how much I like Perth and playing with the boys. But we all have to make decisions, and I've made mine."

Giteau left the Brumbies in 2006 to join the Force in a deal reported to be worth A$4.5 million but the collapse of third-party sponsorship deal with failed energy company Firepower reportedly left him A$1m out of pocket.

His new deal with the Brumbies will keep him in Canberra for the next two seasons and follows his decision to commit his future to the Australian Rugby Union through to the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

"Matt left the Brumbies on good terms and we wished him all the best but we made no secret about our desire to see him back," ACT Brumbies chief executive Andrew Fagan said. "Matt Giteau is a rugby superstar and one of the highest profile sportspeople in this country. His return is a huge vote of confidence."

RugbyWA chief executive Greg Harris thanked Giteau for his contribution to the side and insisted the side had a bright future despite the departure of their star player.

"It is a blow for the Western Force however where one door closes, another one opens and Matt's departure will provide an opportunity for someone like a James O'Connor to step forward and assume a more influential role in our team," he said.

The Brumbies play host to the Western Force in the Super 14 next weekend.


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