Wallabies waiting on Giteau

Date published: July 27 2016

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Australia are waiting on utility back Matt Giteau to join them as they prepare for their upcoming Rugby Championship campaign.

The Wallabies' other overseas-based players, who didn't participate in last month's 3-0 series defeat to England, are in Australia including experienced backs Adam Ashley-Cooper, Will Genia, Drew Mitchell and Quade Cooper.

According to an AAP report, Giteau, whose last played for the Wallabies in their 2015 Rugby World Cup Final loss to the All Blacks at Twickenham, has been spending time with his family, although that doesn't mean he will not be part of his country's Rugby Championship campaign.

The 102-Test veteran's absence was keenly felt against England and Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika battled to replace him.

With Giteau absent, Christian Lealiifano unavailable for the first Test after waiting for the birth of his child and Kurtley Beale out for all three Tests and Matt Toomua for the first two, due to injuries, Cheika couldn't play with two playmakers for most of the series against England.

Instead, he picked a direct runner – Reds centre Samu Kerevi – for the first two Tests in Brisbane and Melbourne.

Meanwhile, the Australian Rugby Union confirmed that the Wallabies will continue their pre-tournament ritual of escaping the major cities for a training camp, when they journey to the Central Coast from 8-12 August before their Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup campaigns kick off on 20 August.

The Wallabies will split their training time between Central Coast Stadium and the nearby gym facilities at Central Coast Leagues Club.

Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika was keen to continue the Wallabies engagement to the wider Rugby community.

“It’s vital for the Wallabies to continue get around the country and connect with our fans from all over Australia by staying and training in their community," he told the Australian Rugby Union's official website.

“We would have had a bit of time together before we arrive in camp, and we are very fortunate to have fantastic facilities like we have at Central Coast Stadium to prepare as best we possibly can for the upcoming Rugby Championship.

Central Coast Stadium’s Manager Kath Casey said it is a privilege to host the Wallabies while they train for the upcoming Bledisloe Cup.

“This is the first time the Wallabies have taken advantage of the Central Coast’s sporting facilities to train for such a major, international rugby series,” she revealed.

“To have the team at Central Coast Stadium as they prepare for one of international rugby’s biggest rivalries is a major coup for our region.

“Plus, with many of our residents participating in local rugby union, this camp will also give them the chance to hopefully meet some of their heroes at the fan day.”

After their week on the Central Coast, the Wallabies will return to Sydney in time for the Wallabies Fan Day at Coogee on 14 Augus.

Fixtures:

Saturday 20 August: Wallabies v New Zealand, ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Saturday 27 August: New Zealand v Wallabies, Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Saturday 10 September: Wallabies v South Africa, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Saturday 17 September: Wallabies v Argentina, nib Stadium, Perth
Saturday 1 October: South Africa v Wallabies, Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Saturday 8 October: Argentina v Wallabies, Twickenham Stadium, London
Saturday 22 October: New Zealand v Wallabies, Eden Park, Auckland

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