The LA Giltinis have announced a signing coup with rugby superstar Matt Giteau bringing his trophy-winning ways to Los Angeles.
Wooing Australia’s three-time World Cup star on a one-season deal adds a huge marquee name to the Giltinis’ already-impressive roster of players from seven countries.
He had all but decided to retire when his final season for Suntory Sungoliath ended suddenly in March once Japan’s 2020 Top League season was cancelled because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Giteau’s polished skills at five-eighth and inside centre, as one of the most influential backs of the 21st century, have generated six elite trophies in Australia (Brumbies), France (Toulon) and Japan (Suntory).
“Starting a franchise afresh, the history I have with certain players and staff at the Giltinis and the family feel to this adventure were all big things that persuaded me,” Giteau said.
“And I get to live in one of the coolest cities in the world and experience this with my kids at an age when they’ll remember it.
“To be honest, I felt a bit unfulfilled with the way things ended in Japan and it made me think that just retiring because of ‘age’ was selling myself a bit short.
“Like everyone, I felt that moment this year when sport was taken away (because of the pandemic) so I got excited with the LA offer and realised you are a long time retired.”
Giteau’s skilful sparkle earned him the first of his 103 Test caps for the Wallabies in 2002.
He would go on to score 30 tries and 698 points in Tests and live up to his early nickname as “Kid Dynamite” with his silky ball-playing, sharp footwork and smart organising skills.
He was playing in France when recalled for a stirring comeback at the 2015 World Cup after winning a hat-trick of European Rugby Champions Cups (2013-15) with Toulon.