2 Jan 2009

Giteau to stay with Western Force

5:56 am on 2 January 2009

The Wallabies five-eighth Matt Giteau will play out the 2009 Super 14 season with the Western Force, ending months of speculation following the collapse of his lucrative third-party sponsorship deal.

Giteau, who is contracted to the Force until the end of 2009, reportedly threatened to walk out on the club once his six-figure deal with Firepower fell through.

The 26-year-old was rumoured to be keen on a move back to the Brumbies this year, while an offer worth almost 10 million dollars from French club Bayonne also had Giteau thinking.

But a Western Force source has revealed Giteau has now committed to staying with the Force for '09, with a formal announcement expected as early as today.

But the future of coach John Mitchell isn't as clear after he was placed on restricted duties following complaints from Western Force players and staff members.

The Force have set up an independent inquiry, led by retired West Australian Supreme Court Judge Robert Anderson QC, to investigate allegations against Mitchell of inappropriate behaviour towards employees.

Mitchell, who is contracted to the club until the end of 2011, will be present when the Force resume pre-season training on Monday.