Brumbies coach Laurie Fisher believes Matt Giteau’s career will suffer at the Western Force.
Fisher wished the Brumbies midfielder well and said there would never be any hard feelings, but he questioned whether the money that lured Giteau to Perth would not be the killer blow to his career.
The move, said Fisher, made all the commercial sense because it set up the player for life, but he argued Giteau’s development as a player would suffer.
“I know he wants to stay,” Fisher told Ben Kimber of the Sydney Morning Herald. “This was an enormously hard decision for him because he wants to play football for the Brumbies, that’s where he still wants to play. In February next year he’ll be wishing he was playing at the Brumbies, but he’ll be counting his money and he’ll be playing at the Force.
“I certainly don’t think it’s the best thing for his football. He won’t be playing in ’07 outside Stephen Larkham and inside Stirling Mortlock, he might be playing outside [Force five-eighth] James Hilgendorf and inside [Force centre] Josh Graham. There’s a significant difference there.
“Will that impact on the quality of his football? Yes it will, I think it will. Will there be enormous pressure from the Perth community for him to be their saviour? Yes there will be. Can that impact on the enjoyment of his rugby? Yes it will.”
Giteau countered Fisher’s argument with a self-belief that he would continue to prosper as a player and that he would be heading to Perth with the right attitude of just wanting to play the best rugby he can.