Giteau given the go ahead

Wallaby inside centre Matt Giteau should be fit for the Tri-Nations opener in Christchurch, after enduring a training practice without complications this morning.

Giteau was doubtful to join the Aussies in New Zealand after he dislocated his thumb in a club game over the weekend. But after training well at Coffs Harbour with the rest of the team today, he is expected to travel to the South Island on Wednesday.

Australia coach John Connolly is pleased to have the Brumbies midfielder back, but said that Giteau will have to pass another fitness test on Friday.

“There will be a team named tomorrrow but there will be reviews on players as the week goes on,” Connolly said.

Meanwhile, the squad of 24 to be announced on Tuesday will not not include New South Wales flanker Wycliff Palu and Brumby winger Clyde Rathbone, who are both suffering from hamstring injuries.

The Western Force’s Scott Fava who returned to club rugby this weekend looks set to take Palu’s spot on the bench.

“We’ve been happy with the way Scott Fava has trained throughout the campaign and he deserves his opportunity on the bench,” Connolly said.

“Cliffy’s got a small tear in his hamstring, which is not a serious one, but we didn’t want to risk doing further damage by playing him this weekend.”

Rathbone has made good progress with his injury but according to Connolly is still not running at full pace.

“Again, [Rathbone's] is not a serious problem, but we thought it best to give him the extra week to get it right.”