Matt Giteau is by far the Wallabies’ best option to play five-eighth at the Rugby Championship and World Cup.
That’s the opinion of the Wallabies’ 1991 World Cup-winning coach Bob Dwyer who references Giteau’s masterclass in steering Toulon to a 24-18 European Champions Cup win over Clermont in May to bolster his argument.
The 32-year-old Giteau, who played mostly at inside centre for Toulon this season, was shifted to No.10 for the final in a bid to spark the star-studded backline.
The move worked a treat, with Giteau producing several classy touches and incisive runs.
“It was the number one world class performance by a flyhalf in the second level of rugby, if you can call European Cup rugby that, it was absolutely first rate,” Dwyer told AAP.
“His acceleration to get the backline moving was fantastic. He ran straight and got his backline running straight.
“He knew when to carry and when not to. When he carried, he was a real threat and the second touches he got were first class.
“As soon as I see a flyhalf getting second touches, I know he’s running straight and playing flat.”
Giteau hasn’t played for the Wallabies since he was overlooked by coach Robbie Deans for the 2011 World Cup squad and after playing his 92nd Test earlier that year in a loss to Samoa.
The Wallabies kick off their Rugby Championship campaign against South Africa in Brisbane on July 18, with NSW Waratahs five-eighth Bernard Foley and Queensland Reds star Quade Cooper in the mix for the No.10 jersey.
But the choice is simple for Dwyer, a former coach of champion five-eighths Michael Lynagh and Mark Ella.
“Giteau brings the players outside him onto the ball and makes them carry the ball in front of him, so then he can get around them easily … I just think he’s so far ahead of the rest, it doesn’t matter,” he said.
Dwyer would like to see Reds veteran Will Genia partner Giteau in the halves for the Wallabies at the expense of NSW Waratahs halfback Nick Phipps.
“I don’t know how many passes he’s (Phipps) thrown this year that have missed everyone, but it’s too many,” he said.
“I think he’s a great athlete and has unbelievable courage and determination, but you can’t have a scrumhalf who misses everyone with his pass.
“Will Genia is the man for me. If you can get the best out of him, he’s our best scrumhalf.”