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Dublin: 5°C Saturday 10 April 2021

Toulon beat off Racing Métro offer to secure Matt Giteau's future

The Parisian club had hoped the Australian would replace Johnny Sexton next season.

Giteau has been superb for Toulon in recent seasons.
Giteau has been superb for Toulon in recent seasons.
Image: Colm O'Neill/INPHO

TOULON HAVE CONFIRMED the re-signing of Australian Matt Giteau on a two-year deal, ending Racing Métro’s hopes of securing the 31-year-old as Johnny Sexton’s replacement next season.

Following reports in the French media, Toulon announced the news via their official club website, with Giteau having penned a two-year contract that includes the option of a third.

It is believed that Racing Métro, bankrolled by real estate magnate Jacky Lorenzetti, had offered Giteau €1million per season to move to Paris, and the playmaker is understood to have visited the club’s impressive training facility in Le Plessis-Robinson recently.

However, Giteau has resisted the temptation and agreed to remain with Toulon, whom he joined in 2011 and has helped to Top 14 and Heineken Cup glory. For club president Mourad Boudjellal, this signature is a vital one.

For all the deserved praise heaped on Jonny Wilkinson before his retirement at the end of last season, it has been Giteau’s skills and mindset which have been behind much of Toulon’s best form in the past three years.

The 92-times capped Wallaby has shifted into the out-half position this season after playing at inside centre alongside Wilkinson previously. Giteau has also taken on goal-kicking responsibility at times, although Leigh Halfpenny will assume those duties if he can return from a troublesome groin injury.

This positive news is a major boost for Toulon after a week in which Boudjellal has drawn much negative attention to the club with his comments on Halfpenny and the issue of losing players during international windows.

Never anything less than controversial, Boudjellal has at least managed to secure the immediate future of a man who remains the most important player in RCT’s playing squad.

Toulon face Ulster in this season’s Rugby Champions Cup group stages, with Leicester and the Scarlets also joining them in Pool 3.

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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