Matt Giteau would walk in to any Northern Hemisphere side as a centre, yet Australia coash Robbie Deans believes he isn’t good enough for their World Cup squad.
Giteau has been plagued by a loss of form in recent weeks but was fully fit and expecting a call-up in what was to be his last World Cup, but Deans went in favour of Berrick Barnes, curtailing Giteau’s international career.
Despite Giteau scoring 671 points in 89 Tests for his country, it is believed Deans has dropped the utility back because he has become too predictable.
Because of his incredible talent, Giteau was always a target for the opposition defence and his skill seems to have got the better of him.
Countries have done their homework and Giteau, who came under criticism during the last Super Rugby campaign for his sideways runs and delaying tactics, is no longer the threat he once was.
He is Australia’s sixth most capped player of all time and his ability to play at either scrum-half, outside-half or inside centre meant many thought Deans would take Giteau just for his adaptability.
But the 2009 IRB World Player of the Year will not be travelling to New Zealand as part of Australia’s 30-man squad for the World Cup – a tournament Australia are 4/1 to win.
Either way you look at it, it’s not great news for the northern hemisphere teams who would welcome a player like Giteau into the team.
Only Wales, should they play James Hook at 12, would struggle to accommodate Giteau and even France coach, Marc Lievremont, with a wealth of talent in the centre would welcome Giteau into the side.
Ireland host Australia in the group stages while Wales are likely quarter-final opponents with England or France likely semi-final opponents, and all three northern hemisphere teams will have a tough battle on their hands