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