Toulon to replace Giteau, Mitchell

Date published: July 9 2015

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Toulon boss Bernard Laporte has confirmed that the French club will recruit replacements for World Cup-bound Wallabies Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell.

The veteran duo have been included in Australia's squad for the upcoming Rugby Championship and are expected to be in Michael Cheika's group for the World Cup in England later this year.

With the global tournament overlapping with seven rounds of the Top 14, Toulon are left with little choice but to bring in players to fill the temporary gaps left by their star play maker and wing.

Laporte admitted losing two first-XV players was an unexpected complication, but added that RCT would not stand in the way of their players' international careers.

"At the start, they said they weren't playing for their national team anymore," Laporte told Planet Rugby.

"That said, we can't prevent someone from playing in a World Cup, it's such a great experience.

"It is up to us to adapt and bring in new players. We're obliged to recruit replacements."

Laporte also reaffirmed that there was no doubt about whether Wallaby fly-half Quade Cooper and utility back James O'Connor would be playing in a red jersey next season, despite protracted speculation that they may stay in Australia.

"Quade has signed in Toulon. It's simple, when you sign a contract, you've signed a contract," insisted Laporte. 

"James O'Conner is coming after the World Cup. He's not in the Wallaby squad, but he's on standby. So he'll come afterwards."

The former French secretary of sport was adamant that there was no turning back on those deals.

"They've both signed. That's how contracts work, if you don't come, you have to pay." 

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