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  1. #1
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    Call me captain

    Call me captain

    August 26, 2007

    Matt Giteau makes no secret of it - he wants to be the next Wallabies captain. And leave the Force? You're joking, he tells Adrian Proszenko in our exclusive interview.

    MATT Giteau, the highest-paid footballer in the country, has signaled his desire to become the next Wallabies captain.

    This bold statement of intent was backed by Australian coach John Connolly, who declares: "He's a future Australian captain, no doubt."

    In an exclusive interview with The Sun-Herald, Giteau spoke of his captaincy ambitions, his desire to re-sign with the Western Force when his current contract expires and why he believes Australia can win the World Cup. While his immediate focus was on helping the Wallabies capture the Webb Ellis trophy, Giteau revealed he wants to skipper his club and country in the future.

    "It's something everyone aims for," Giteau says. "Whenever you play for your country, it's in the back of your mind and I'm no different. Down the track we'll have to see if I'm ready for it, but I'd like to do it."

    Connolly, who will start Giteau at inside-centre in France but also views him as a back-up halfback or five-eighth option behind George Gregan and Stephen Larkham, adds: "He's very similar to Tim Horan, a tough kid who leads by example."

    Giteau was dubbed the "Six Million Dollar Man" after signing a lucrative three-year deal with the Force. But during the week, rumours surfaced that he wanted out of his contract so he could return to the Brumbies.

    Giteau says there was no substance to the claims, hinting that he will even re-sign with the Perth franchise when he is a free agent at the end of the 2009 season.

    "To be honest, I haven't thought too much of it because I knew it wasn't true," he says. "I don't know where these rumours have come from. I'm happy at the Force and just bought a place in Perth. It's a great lifestyle and I enjoy the place.

    "We've had a good year and I love Perth, the environment, the culture and the people. I've had a great time, I'm more than happy on and off the field, I'm really enjoying myself.

    "I will fulfill my contract - I want to play out the next two years with the Force, and I intend to do that. Generally, when I agree to something, I want to do it.

    "I haven't had any talks at all to [Brumbies CEO] Andrew Fagan about returning to the Brumbies. Obviously, I still love Canberra, but for the next two years I'll be at the Force. I love it at the Force, so if I continue to enjoy my football I can't see any reason why I'd leave. There's every intention of [re-signing]. I had a great time this year and I have every intention of staying with the Force [beyond 2009]."

    Giteau has parted ways with the management team that negotiated his rich transfer deal to the Force, which was supplemented by a third-party arrangement with Perth-based fuel-technology company Firepower. Giteau plays down his dispute over the money owed to him as part of the Firepower arrangement. "As far as I'm concerned, my relationship with Firepower is really strong," he says, adding that the issue will not affect where he plays his football.

    In fact, the 24-year-old cites the Force's rapid improvement - they finished seventh this year after being wooden-spooners in their inaugural season - as one of his motivations for staying put. He even feels a Super 14 title is within reach within the next two seasons.

    "You've got to have that belief and if we keep improving at the rate we're going, it's definitely possible," he says.

    Giteau, who earned the nickname Kid Dynamite due to his explosive play, also believes the Wallabies are a genuine chance of World Cup success in France.

    "Everyone is positive. We feel we've prepared well enough and everyone is confident," he says. "We've got the feeling in the group we can win it, we just have to go out and play good football."

    Giteau says he is looking forward to the challenge of wearing the No.10 jersey full-time for the Force next year after alternating between inside-centre and five-eighth last season. "There have been times I've played well and at other times I've been a bit quiet," he says. "I'm happy but you've got to keep progressing."

    ON THE FORCE
    'I'm happy at the Force and just bought a place in Perth. It's a great lifestyle and I enjoy the place'

    ON WALLABIES CAPTAINCY
    'It's something everyone aims for, it's always a goal. We'll have to see if I'm ready for it, but I'd like to do it'

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    Nathan Sharpe, Legend.

  2. #2
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    Thats great to hear. If he were any kind of respectable journalist Gregory Growden will no doubt be serving himself a big bowl of humble pie. Or since this is not the case just a big bowl of regular pie.

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    Yep, a big bowl of pie

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    Glad it was Proszenko interviewing him, he's much better than Growden (He interviewed me for a pre-season article he wrote).

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