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Injured Genia a big loss to Wallabies: Giteau

Date
Robbie Deans and Matt Giteau had a falling out.

Robbie Deans and Matt Giteau had a falling out. Photo: Getty Images

Matt Giteau says Will Genia is the player the Wallabies will miss most on their European tour starting against France on Saturday.

France-based playmaker Giteau had no doubt the knee injury suffered by champion halfback Genia against South Africa in Perth in September was the biggest blow to a tour squad also without stars James Horwill, Quade Cooper, James O'Connor and Scott Higginbotham.

''It is true that they are missing several players but the one they will miss most is Will Genia - he is a huge loss,'' said Giteau.

''His replacement Nick Phipps plays really well but Genia is the sort of player that no side can afford to lose.''

After a career including 92 Tests for Australia, 31-year-old Giteau has been a big success playing for French competition leaders Toulon, with fellow veterans Jonny Wilkinson and Freddy Michalak.

He helped Toulon to the Top 14 final last season and signed a two-year contract extension last month.

Giteau accepted that his new contract meant his international career was over but believed that was probably the case since not being wanted by Wallabies coach Robbie Deans for last year's World Cup.

''Yes, I have brought the curtain down on my chances of ever playing for my country again,'' he said.

''But with the coach who is in charge of them at the moment, I don't have much of a chance of being called up in any case.

''Even if I had returned to Australia, a condition of being available again for selection, I would maybe not have been recalled.

''Thus I decided to stay at Toulon, where I am flourishing.

''But I remain a devoted supporter of the Australian team and I still have a lot of friends in the squad.''

Giteau had some sympathy for Cooper, who was heavily fined and received a suspended three-match ban for his recent outspoken public criticism of the Wallabies' set-up.

''Quade wanted to express how unhappy he was,'' said Giteau.

''He has since apologised. I also experienced difficult moments at international level - I didn't make the last World Cup.

''Robbie is as he is. The coaches like certain players and others less. It has always been the case. I don't enter into the plans of Robbie.''

Giteau was looking forward to returning to Australia with his wife and son for a two-week holiday after Toulon meet Clermont in a top-of-the-table clash this weekend.

But he made it clear he's very happy in France, hence his new contract.

''And even more importantly, my family are happy as well. That is the first reason.

''Also Toulon is a great team which has the possibility of winning several trophies.

''In my head, I had two options: to stay in France or return to Australia. I never even thought of trying my luck in England for example. When it came down to it, it was a relatively-easy decision to take.'' AAP-AFP

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
 
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