Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal made it clear this week that should Matt Giteau join up with Australia’s Rugby Championship squad, he will face a wage-cut.
There was plenty of speculation this week when Giteau didn’t join up with the Wallabies training camp, many suggesting he couldn’t face another dock in wages, after losing over €250,000 for playing in last year’s Rugby World Cup.
It has now been confirmed today however that Giteau has put his country ahead of his club and his wages after being named in Australia’s squad. He will now miss the opening eight rounds of the Top 14 and will be hit with a two-month wage cut.
Drew Mitchell has also decided to join his clubmate and fellow countryman in defying the wishes of Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal and linking up with Australia as they bid to defend their Rugby Championship crown.
Australia coach Michael Cheika is delighted with the pair’s decision, but he admits it wasn’t an easy process. Cheika told Sky Sports:
“Matt and Drew, who are in that situation, and all the lads who have come from overseas – it wasn’t a straightforward chit-chat with the club owners to get them back – [the players themselves] have pushed those discussions.”
“Players are starting to realise that it’s not just about money, you’ve got to make the most of your career on all fronts. Achievement is why we’re playing the game. I don’t think anyone’s playing this game for a job, not at this level.”
Wallaby legendary pair Adam Ashley-Cooper and Will Genia, both of whom are based in France, have also been named in the squad.
Wallabies Squad: Allan Alaalatoa, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Adam Coleman, Quade Cooper, Kane Douglas, Scott Fardy, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Nick Frisby, Will Genia, Matt Giteau, James Hanson, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Michael Hooper, Rob Horne, Sekope Kepu, Samu Kerevi, Tevita Kuridrani, Ben McCalman, Sean McMahon, Drew Mitchell, Luke Morahan, Stephen Moore, Dean Mumm, Nick Phipps, David Pocock, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tom Robertson, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, Will Skelton, James Slipper, Toby Smith, Lopeti Timani, Matt Toomua