Giteau France bound

The 2013 British & Irish Lions might still run into Wallaby play maker Matt Giteau even though the 28-year-old is set to head to France later this year. [more]

Giteau France bound

The 2013 British & Irish Lions might still run into Wallaby play maker Matt Giteau even though the 28-year-old is set to head to France later this year.

Giteau has signed an 18 month contract to play in the Top 14 after the Rugby World Cup, probably alongside Jonny Wilkinson and Gavin Henson at Toulon, but hasn’t ruled out a return to the Test arena thereafter.

The Brumbies star is hoping to become only the fifth Australian player to reach 100 caps before he retires – he is currently on 91 – but ended 2010 on the replacements bench.

“Winning 100 Test caps was never a big motivator for me, but now that I'm this close it would really mean a lot. If I'm still playing good football, I'd like to think I could have another crack at getting back into the Wallabies,” Giteau told The Australian newspaper.

“I just want to go out and play good footy this year for the Brumbies and, hopefully, Australia.”

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Wallaby lock Dan Vickerman was given special dispensation to play at Northampton Saints last year and then make a delayed start to the Super 14 season. If Giteau is given a similar opportunity he could finish in France and return in time to bid for a place in the 2013 series against the Lions.

But one man the Lions will surely face in two years time is Drew Mitchell after the Waratahs flyer put pen to paper on a new two year deal with the ARU that ended all the speculation about him joining the European exodus.

The Waratahs wing turned down offers to head to Europe to play for Bath, Bayonne and Toulon and opted to remain in Australia for at least two more years. There was strong speculation that Mitchell would join Giteau in the Top 14 after the World Cup, probably at big spending Toulon, but instead he accepted a new deal from the ARU.

Mitchell has score 26 tries in 55 internationals for the Wallabies and signed off his 2010 campaign with a hat-trick against France in Paris in his side’s 59-16 defeat of the Grand Slam champions.

“It's going to be weird when Gits goes because he's my best mate, but we've just vowed to make the most of this season, with both of us playing well for the Wallabies,” Mitchell told The Australian.

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