Giteau: I took RWC chance for granted

Date published: October 1 2015

Wallabies centre Matt Giteau has revealed that he took it for granted that he would get another chance to win a World Cup, after Australia's loss in the 2003 final.

Johnny Wilkinson broke Australian’s hearts with a drop goal in the dying embers of an epic final against Australia in 2003.

Then four years later, Giteau experienced more disappointment when he was also on the field for Australia's shock 12-10 loss to England in the quarter-finals.

"While you're so close to winning a World Cup, and I think I took that for granted, thinking 'oh next World Cup, we'll win it'," said the 33-year-old.

"But there's such a hard competition, they're a hard thing to win."

The former Brumbies utility back added that he had got to know Wilkinson during their time together at Toulon, where he learned that he trains exceptionally hard.

"Knowing that it wasn't a fluke in 2003, that drop goal, does somewhat ease it," he added.

"While the heartache of losing it, that still burns a little bit now…you'd love to win a World Cup, knowing that it's not a fluke and how hard he trains kind of eased that a little bit."

The veteran revealed that he still gets that electric feeling when he runs out to play in front of a big crowd, something he will definitely experience when he runs at inside centre against England at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.

"The really big stadiums, even Millennium, when you turn up to do the captain's run, you get a sense of confidence," added Giteau.

"It's a big game, it's a big stadium…it's why you play.

"I've been away from the Test arena for so long that getting do to those pre-runs in the big stadiums is something that you miss.

"You miss those big environments, the big occasions. I think I get [the chills] more so now, because it hasn't been a consistent feeling for a long time.

"It's almost like I've restarted all over again – I suppose I don't take it for granted. I'm very grateful to get the opportunity and, to play against the host nation in a World Cup, it's very special."