Matt Giteau trains with new team Toulon

Big spending French Top 14 side Toulon’s two high-profile close-season signings, former Wallabies fly-half Matt Giteau and veteran England lock Simon Shaw, trained with their new team for the first time last week.

Giteau, 29 and capped 92 times by Australia, was omitted from the Rugby World Cup squad and his experience was much missed as first choice fly-half Quade Cooper had a disappointing tournament.

Despite not being required for the Cup, Giteau could not join Toulon until the end of his contract with the Australian Rugby Union.

“I don’t know what to expect, but I’m very excited,” Giteau, whose great-grandfather was French, said.

“It’s been a long time since I played and I am really hungry to get going.”

“My last match was the friendly against Samoa (the Wallabies lost 23-22 in July).

“I am in good shape and I hope to be able to play against Castres on November 26.

“As regards the World Cup, that is in the past even if I would have loved to have been there,” added Giteau, who is on a three-year contract and rejoins boyhood friend and former Wallabies scrum-half Matt Henjak.

Giteau was at a bit of a loss when asked where in France his great grandfather had come from.

“My great grandfather moved to Australia many many years ago. I don’t know exactly where he came from.”

by Buford Balony

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