Pulver hopeful of Giteau return

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

ARU CEO Bill Pulver is confident the governing body can find a way to bring Matt Giteau home for the Rugby Championship.

Giteau is currently in Toulon while most of the Wallabies are training in Sydney, with the French club believed to have been considering withholding the salaries of players who opt for Test duty over club football.

Pulver said he was optimistic that Giteau, 33, would be able to join the Wallabies without the situation having to get to that point.

““Regulation 9 is there for a reason and that’s to ensure that players are available for their country when they are called upon,” he said in a statement.

“We are confident that the situation will be resolved with Matt and his club, without the involvement of World Rugby and see Matt in the Wallabies squad as soon as possible.

Pulver said if Toulon and the Wallabies couldn’t come to an agreement, the fans would be the biggest losers.

“If it doesn’t happen it would be a disappointing outcome for Matt personally, but also for Wallabies fans who would miss out on seeing one of our biggest stars in action in our three home Test matches in The Rugby Championship.

“We certainly hope it doesn’t come to that.”

Giteau has had an injury-interrupted season with Toulon. Photo: Getty Images

Pulver said on FOX SPORTS NEWS the ARU wouldn’t be attempting to make up any shortfall in a bid to help expedite the process.

“It’s not the case of finding middle ground. There are very clear guidelines that account to World Rugby for Matt and compensation, we’ll follow those,” he said.

If Giteau does come home he would be available for the entire Rugby Championship under World Rugby's regulation 9, starting from the August 20 Sydney Bledisloe match.

The inside back was sorely missed in the England series, with the Wallabies lacking the ability to play two playmakers in the opening Tests, with Matt Toomua  and Kurtley Beale both injured injured and Christian Lealiifano late to camp due the birth of his first child.

Giteau played a crucial part in the Wallabies run to the 2015 World Cup final, before a groin injury ruled him out of three months of rugby in the Top 14.

The Wallabies are training in Sydney ahead of the first Test, before an official camp kicks off on August 8 on the Central Coast.