Giteau says goodbye to Toulon and Top 14

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Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Matt Giteau has confirmed this season at Toulon will be his last, flagging an imminent move to Japan.

Giteau posted a French farewell message on Instagram on Monday evening (Australian time), indicating he had opted to move to Japan.

While the post was in French, the sentiment was relatively clear, translated as below:

"I want to announce that at the end of this season I will leave to play in Japan," he wrote.

"Making this decision was the toughest of my rugby career but it is the best for my family to be closer to Australia. - Matt Giteau

"I want to say a big thank you to the players, (who I have made life long friendship with), coaches, president and staff behind the scenes since 2011. I owe a lot to you.

"I also want to say a big thank you to the Toulon fans who will remain in my heart for life. The time spent in Toulon was the best period of my rugby career. My main goal now is to win titles for this historic club."

 

Je veux announcer que à la fin de cette saison je vais partir pour jouer en Japon. Prendre cette décision était la plus difficile de ma carrière rugbystique mais elle est la meilleure pour ma famille pour être plus proche à l'Australie. Je veux dire un grand merci aux joueurs, (qui j'ai rendu la vie longue amitié avec), aux entraîneurs, au Président et au staff dans les coulisses depuis 2011. Je dois beaucoup à vous Je veux aussi dire un grand merci aux supporters Toulonnais qui resteront dans ma cœur à vie. Le temps passé à Toulon a été la meilleure période de ma carrière rugbystique. Mon objectif principle maintenant est de gagner des titres pour ce club historique 🔴⚫️ #ToujoursToulonnais #MerciEncore

A photo posted by Matt Giteau (@matt_giteau) on


Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal hinted at the move last week, telling French publication Var Martin that Giteau had requested a release to go to Japan.

Giteau did not confirm where he would be plying his trade in the Japanese competition, but it is likely to be competition powerhouse Suntory, as reported by rugby.com.au last Saturday.

The Sungoliath have completed an undefeated season in 2016-17, led by ageless backrower George Smith, a former Brumbies teammate of Giteau's.

England coach and Giteau's first Test mentor, Eddie Jones, has strong ties to the club after steering the team from 2009-2012 and is believed to have been influential in helping Giteau finalise the move.

I want to announce that at the end of this season I will leave to play in Japan. Making this decision was the toughest of my rugby career but it is the best for my family to be closer to Australia. I want to say a big thank you to the players, (who I have made life long friendship with), coaches, president and staff behind the scenes since 2011. I owe a lot to you I also want to say a big thank you to the Toulon fans who will remain in my heart for life. The time spent in Toulon was the best period of my rugby career. My main goal now is to win titles for this historic club 🔴⚫️ #ToujoursToulonnais #MerciEncore View all 48 comments

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