Jonny Wilkinson stops answering Matt Giteau's calls as England prepare to face Australia at the Rugby World Cup
Having been in the international wilderness for four years since joining French side Toulon, Australia centre Matt Giteau didn’t have much need to think about winning the 2015 World Cup.
But since the Wallabies relaxed their international selection criteria to allow players plying their trade abroad, Giteau has been back in the fold for this year’s tournament.
Having been on the receiving end of Jonny Wilkinson’s heroics in the 2003 final in Sydney, and four years later in the quarter-final in Marseille, who better to ask for tips on how to lift the Webb Ellis Cup.
Although the former England fly-half isn’t playing ball as the hosts prepare to take on the Wallabies in a clash that could decide their fate in their home tournament.
“I’d make him feel guilty – I’d make him feel really guilty,” said Giteau of exploiting Wilkinson’s good nature.
“He won’t answer my calls this week, and I’ve tried him a lot! He won’t answer me this week, maybe next week.”
The new selection rules mean that Giteau and Toulon teammate Drew Mitchell are welcomed back into the Australia squad and the pair watched their compatriots lose to England in November from the Twickenham stands.
“When I was having a few beers, it never crossed my mind that they might relax the rules. The rules were in place as they were, so at that point it was just really we had a break from Toulon.
“I’m massively more appreciative of it all now that I’m back with Australia. I suppose I am more grateful than I was.
“When you’re playing consistently I think you take it for granted – it’s a shocking thing to take it for granted, playing for your country.
“But now that I’ve been given a second chance… little things like getting your kit again make you feel 19 like when it all started. I certainly take nothing for granted now.”