Giteau a shock inclusion in Top 14 semi

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Matt Giteau is a surprise inclusion in Toulon's Top 14 semi-final team, after his playing time in France had seemed over.

The 103-Test Wallabies back had taken up a role as backline coach after a series of frustrating injuries, seemingly set to spend his final season at Toulon with a clipboard in hand.

Giteau, though, has been included on the bench for the final four clash with La Rochelle, a team also featuring some in-form Aussies.

Drew Mitchell is on the wing for Toulon, in what could be the final match of his career, after announcing his retirement, while James O'Connor, also in the final matches of his Toulon stint, is at inside centre.

Liam Gill is the only Aussie confirmed to be in Toulon for the 2017-18 season, running on at openisde flanker.

La Rochelle, who topped the regular season ladder, will have Aussie Brock James at flyhalf, a player who has kicked them to crucial wins throughout the season.

The teams play their semi-final at 5am Saturday morning, with the winner playing either Racing 92 or Clermont in the competition decider.

Wallabies halfback Will Genia will play his final French game of the season this Friday, in a Champions Cup playoff against Northampton, before the 28-year-old returns home for the Wallabies June Series.