Waratahs coach Ewen McKenzie has delivered some well-directed barbs at the Western Force, accusing them of hypocrisy over the Matt Giteau signing.
But it may be nothing more than sour grapes after seeing the talented midfielder slip through his fingers.
McKenzie found it hard to believe that just days after the Force complained they were treated like poor cousins, they could confirm Australian rugby’s most lucrative signing, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
“This is all coming from an organisation which only a week or so ago was asking for handouts from the ARU to support their rugby program,” he said. “Yet they are able to conjure up something like $700-900,000 to get a player. If they’re prepared to put that money up for Giteau … they should be putting the same amount into developing the game.”
The immediate value to the Force has also been questioned, especially as Giteau, under the collective bargaining agreement, may, like every other Wallaby representative, miss the first three matches of next year’s Super 14 season. This is due to the deal organised to ensure that leading players play only a certain number of games in a World Cup year.
McKenzie also said the signing gave the wrong signals – indicating players were now more interested in their hip pocket than the quality of the side they wanted to appear in.