SEVERAL players are surprised that Matt Giteau was overlooked as the Wallabies vice-captain and that the five-eighth was not told before Berrick Barnes was named as Rocky Elsom’s deputy last Friday.An insider yesterday told the Herald a number of players believed Giteau deserved to at least be ”sounded out” for a new leadership position before any decision was made by Wallabies coach Robbie Deans.Giteau has not enjoyed his best year, but his supporters believe he has done enough in previous seasons to warrant consideration for a higher leadership role.”He didn’t get sounded out. It was a bit of a kick in the face for a bloke who has put in for that jersey for a while,” the insider told the Herald .”They could have at least acknowledged to him that they were going for someone else. If I was Matt Giteau, I would be disappointed.”It doesn’t augur well for your team when the bloke who touches the footy the most is not too happy about what’s going on. I think he has more of an assertive presence on the field than a Berrick Barnes. Ask anyone in the team, that’s what Gits does well. He’s been there and everyone listens.”Giteau has not spoken publicly about missing out on the vice captaincy since it was confirmed last Friday. Nor has he spoken about last Wednesday’s Herald report that Deans may switch him with Barnes from five-eighth to inside-centre. But he is understood to be upset about that and may reconsider his playing future in Australia.While unveiling Elsom as the new Wallabies captain and Barnes as his deputy last Friday, Deans surprised many by revealing that he had not spoken to Giteau about the vice-captaincy.Giteau has long been touted as a future Wallabies leader and many observers believed he was at least in line to become Elsom’s No.2.Asked if Giteau was disappointed to miss out, Deans said: ”I’ve got no idea, I haven’t had that conversation with him yet. I hope not, because it’s about the team and how the team functions and Matt already has a huge leadership role within the team. You can argue that what we ask of him is greater.”A Wallabies spokesman yesterday said it was understood that Deans – as of yesterday afternoon – had still not broached the subject with Giteau.The Wallabies broke from their training camp at Coogee after last Thursday’s intra-squad trial game. Deans was understood to be spending yesterday with his family and was not available to comment.However, the Wallabies will need to iron out any potential kinks in their unity before their seven-week end-of-season tour. They assemble tomorrow in Coogee for another training camp.The Wallabies leave Australia on October 24 to prepare for their clash with the All Blacks in Tokyo on October 31.
Nanjing Night Net