Wallabies star Matt Giteau retires after spending half his life playing rugby at the highest level as he signs off with a hilarious joke at his own expense
- Australian rugby legend calls time on a decorated career at all levels
- Giteau’s influence included having a rule change named after him
- The former playmaker signed off with a cheeky barb about the end of his career
Former Wallabies star Matt Giteau, whose selection for Australia in 2015 as an overseas-based player created Australian rugby’s ‘Giteau Law’, has announced his retirement from the sport after a glittering career.
The now 40-year-old made the announcement via social media, declaring he had ‘milked this game and the contracts dry’ having played in Australia, France, Japan and the US since his debut for the ACT Brumbies in 2001.
Giteau celebrates with former Wallaby David Campese after the 2015 Rugby World Cup Quarter Final match between Australia and Scotland at Twickenham Stadium
Giteau represented Australia 103 times, and when then Wallabies coach Michael Cheika wanted to pick overseas-based players for the national team, with Giteau playing with Toulon in France, the ‘Giteau Law’ was born.
‘Forever grateful to all my many coaches, staff members, referees and touch judges along the way,’ Giteau wrote on Twitter.
‘And of course a big thank you to my many teammates that helped me play and grow as a player and a person. So many great friendships made and some unbelievable memories created along the way.’
Giteau of the Wallabies runs the ball during the International Test match between the Australian Wallabies and Samoa at ANZ Stadium on July 17, 2011
Giteau celebrates with the trophy after Toulon’s victory in the European Champions Cup Final at Twickenham Stadium
He then signed off with a cheeky barb at the fact he extended his career with stints with Suntory Sungoliath in Japan and LA Giltinis in the United States.
‘It’s been such an amazing experience and one that I will miss but I have milked this game and the contracts dry,’ he quipped.
The ‘Giteau Law’, as it was coined, came about in 2015 when Cheika negotiated with Rugby Australia to allow players with 60 or more Wallabies caps to be selected for the national team.
At that stage no overseas-based players could play for the Wallabies.
Queen Elizabeth II looks at a wallaby mascot held by Australian Rugby player Matt Giteau at a reception for the Australian Touring Rugby team at Windsor Castle in Windsor on November 10, 2008
The change was approved and Giteau was included in the World Cup squad that went on to reach the final, which the Wallabies lost.
Giteau finished his playing career, which included 10 years of Super Rugby, seven years in France and three in Japan, with the LA Giltinis in the Major League Rugby competition in the US.
Drew Mitchell of Australia makes a break during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Semi Final match between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium
Former Wallabies back Drew Mitchell quipped that Giteau could soon be taking up a position under new coach Eddie Jones.
‘Congrats Gitty! Most of my best rugby memories were playing alongside you bro,’ he posted.
”Perfectly timed for Eddie to name you as the @wallabies Attack Coach?’
‘Loved watching you play. You added much to the game and will be missed. Good luck in your future endeavours. Hopefully we will see you in a coaching role soon,’ an Aussie fan said.
‘As an English fan, was always nervous when you were in opposition and admired way you played the game. Congratulations on a great career and all the best for the future,’ added another supporter.
And a French fan posted: ‘So…Time to come back in Toulon and share your magic skills ! It was a waking dream to see you play ! Enjoy your new life.’
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