Giteau may get run at scrumhalf, says Connolly

Matt Giteau is likely to be tried at scrumhalf on the Wallabies’ European rugby tour next month after the injury withdrawal of first-choice number nine Sam Cordingley, coach John Connolly said on Wednesday.

Cordingley, promoted to first-choice after skipper George Gregan opted to stay at home, pulled out of the tour on Wednesday with a persistent foot injury that will require surgery, the Australian Rugby Union said.

Scrumhalf Josh Valentine will replace Cordingley in the 37-man Wallaby squad.

Giteau, normally an inside centre with the Wallabies, has been mooted as a potential scrumhalf, but is likely to get a run closer to the scrum following Cordingley’s setback.

Australia are now without their top two scrumhalves and Connolly said the Giteau experiment — planned to have happened against Italy — could be brought forward.

”It’s possible, we’d targeted him to play there [later in the tour] anyway,” Connolly said on Wednesday.

”We’ll probably have a look at him earlier rather than later.”

Asked if Giteau would be the scrumhalf for the November 4 Test against Wales, Connolly said: ”We haven’t discussed that one but I would think it’s a possibility.”

The Wallabies will play internationals against Wales, Italy, Ireland and Scotland and will have mid-week matches against Ireland A, Scotland A and Welsh team Ospreys.

The Australians leave on October 27 with their opening tour match against the Ospreys in Swansea on November 1. — Sapa-AFP

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