Giteau confirms he is staying in Perth


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Australia flyhalf Matt Giteau has confirmed he will remain with the Western Force in Super 14 rugby for at least another year, turning down a reported multimillion dollar offer to play in France.

In early December, there was speculation that Giteau would not play with the Western Force in 2009, deciding instead to return to the Brumbies in Canberra or move to French side Bayonne on a deal worth almost 10 million Australian dollars ($6.5 million).

But Giteau, 26, said in his Perth newspaper column Sunday that he would honor the final year of his contract with the Western Australian-based team.

“I can say now that I’m committed to the Force for next year and I won’t be making a decision on my future until next season is over,” Giteau wrote.

“I never tried to get out of my contract legally because things get ugly when you start doing that and I didn’t want to go there.”

When news of the French offer was made public, Australian Rugby Union chief executive John O’Neill said Giteau would not be given an early release from his ARU and Force contract.

“It’s pretty cut and dried as far as we’re concerned, a contract is a contract,” O’Neill said at the time.

Giteau has played 65 tests for Australia, his first in 2002 against England in London. He has 409 test points, including 21 tries and 55 penalty goals.

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