Giteau packs for Perth

In one of the biggest transfer shocks of the season, Wallaby utility back Matt Giteau is set to join the Western Force on a long-term contract.

According to Channel Nine, Giteau will join the Force on a five-year deal worth A$1.2 million (R5.4 million) a season. The Sydney Morning Herald believes Giteau’s management company is pushing for the five-year deal, but the ARU wants Giteau to sign for only three years.

Western Force CEO Peter O’Meara would not confirm the contract, but said he was “reasonably confident” Giteau would join the club and expected an announcement to be made early next week.

“We can’t confirm [the details of the deal],” O’Meara. “We’re still in negotiations with him and at this stage we’re hopeful that he’ll come to the west. He’s a very good player, we’ve made an attractive offer to him, hopefully it will be good enough to secure him, but the terms and conditions associated with that are confidential.

“We’re confident in as much that he’s indicated, I guess, an interest, and so have his management company. We’ve been in negotiations for a few months and at this stage we’re reasonably confident but we’re not sort of counting that until we see something in writing and at this stage we can’t confirm that we’ve got that.”

In some good news for the Brumbies, captain Stirling Mortlock has been declared fit for Saturday’s match against the Hurricanes after struggling with a shoulder injury earlier in the week.

“It looks OK so that’s certainly a positive for us,” coach Gandalf Fisher. “With Gits and Larkham out it takes out a bit of firepower, so keeping Stirling there is important. And also his leadership with the way he’s been taking the team on the front foot means he’s certainly the kind of player we need to lead us around the park.”