Matt Giteau agrees to join Toulon

Veteran Wallabies’ playmaker Matt Giteau has ended weeks of speculation by agreeing to terms with French Top14 club Toulon.

Giteau, 28, will join the French club in November after the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. He is contracted to the Australian Rugby Union until December 31 but the body will not stand in his way.

In a telling sign he wants to extend his Test career, which spans 91 caps to date, the Brumbies linchpin has effectively penned an 18-month deal, which would enable him to return to Australia midway through 2013, in a bid to push for Wallabies selection against the British and Irish Lions in Australia that year.

A number of leading Australian players including Stephen Moore, Berrick Barnes and Drew Mitchell have recently spurned overseas deals with the prospect of playing the Lions in 2013 a major consideration.

Giteau is said to be delighted with finalising the deal before the start of the Brumbies’ Super Rugby campaign.

Interestingly veteran England five-eighth Johnny Wilkinson re-signed with Toulon last month which may indicate Giteau would play inside centre, although the Englishman regularly comes off the bench.

Giteau will captain the Brumbies in their season-opener against the Chiefs on Saturday in Canberra with regular skipper Stephen Hoiles being eased back by coach Andy Friend off the bench after a battle with an Achilles injury

by Terence Johns

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