February 21, 2009 / 2:37 AM / 10 years ago

Rugby-Giteau to swap Force for Brumbies next season

SYDNEY, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Australia flyhalf Matt Giteau is leaving the Western Force at the end of the current Super 14 season to rejoin the ACT Brumbies, the player said on Saturday.

The Force offered Giteau a two-year extension to his existing three-year contract but the 26-year-old said he wanted to return to the city where he was raised and began his rugby career.

“I was very fortunate to have two fantastic offers to consider. In the end, it came down to a simple desire to return to Canberra,” Giteau said in a statement.

Giteau left the Brumbies after the 2006 Super 14 season to join the Force in a deal reported to be worth A$4.5 million (US$2.91 million).

However, speculation about his future in Perth intensified after a third-party sponsor collapsed last year, reportedly leaving him A$1 million out of pocket.

His new deal will keep him at the Brumbies for the 2010 and 2011 Super 14 seasons and comes after he had pledged his future to the Australian Rugby Union through to the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand.

“Matt left the Brumbies on good terms and we wished him all the best but we made no secret about our desire to see him back,” ACT Brumbies chief executive Andrew Fagan said.

“Matt Giteau is a rugby superstar and one of the highest profile sportspeople in this country. His return is a huge vote of confidence.” (Reporting by Julian Linden; Editing by John O’Brien)

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