Giteau considering moving to France

Flyhalf Matt Giteau says he is contemplating seeking a release from his Australian Rugby Union contract to take up a near-AU$10 million ($6.5 million) offer to play for French club Bayonne.


Australian Associated Press reported from Cardiff, Wales on Saturday that Giteau has been offered “9.6 to 9.8 million” dollars over four years and that he will spend the next two weeks considering the contract from Bayonne owner Alain Affleolou.


“I think whenever anyone’s presented with that type of offer, you’d sit down and consider your options,” Giteau told AAP after Australia lost to Wales 21-18.


“Because we’ve been playing tests, I haven’t really thought about it seriously. I think over the next week, two weeks, I’ll sit down and seriously think about it.”


Giteau said he was aware that ARU chief executive John O’Neill has already ruled out granting the 26-year-old a short-term release from his contract – which expires after the 2011 World Cup – to take a sabbatical and play in Europe.


“That makes it tougher,” he said.


The ARU said on Saturday flanker Rocky Elsom’s release earlier this year on compassionate grounds to join Irish side Leinster did not constitute a sabbatical.


Giteau may now have to decide whether to turn his back on Australia in favor of the lucrative contract.


“You can’t really put a price on a Wallaby jumper,” Giteau said.


“I’ve still got that burning desire to play for the Wallabies, and always will have that desire. Whether it’s your first game or tonight was my 65th, I think, so I still feel as proud as the first game … in the last.”


Giteau plays with the Perth-based Super 14 team the Western Force, where he was committed to the end of the 2009 season. The Super 14 starts in February.


Sapa-AP – Rugbyweek.com

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