Giteau likely to face All Blacks

Photosport     02 Jul 2006     Photosport

Giteau had not played a competitive match since injuring his knee playing for the Brumbies in May, and was using the fixture to gain fitness ahead of the Wallabies' Philips Tri-Nations opener against New Zealand.

Mat Rogers has been filled in admirably at No 12 for Australia's three Tests against Ireland and England, and Giteau's chances of regaining his spot at inside centre looked even slimmer when he came off after 35 minutes at Nichols Oval in Canberra.

But x-rays have revealed no fracture to his thumb, and he keeps alive his hopes of playing against the All Blacks in Christchurch next Saturday.

Although Giteau admitted that the injury was frustrating and a further setback to his chances of a return to the Wallabies line-up, he felt good about his time on the field for the Canberra side.

"The knee was fine, I was able to step and run, I felt I had a lot of confidence with my knee, I felt I could do everything that I need to do, so it felt good," Giteau told the ABC.

The centre will return to the Wallabies' training base in Coffs Harbour on Sunday, and have his injury reviewed by team medical staff on Monday.