‘He’s the greatest player I played with’: Giteau compares ex Wallaby to McCaw
In a career that spanned over two decades, Matt Giteau played with many World Cup winners, Super Rugby winners and European Cup winners, but the former Wallaby has said that the greatest player he ever played with was George Smith.
In episode one of RugbyPass’ ‘Gits & Genia’ podcast, the Brumbies, Toulon and Wallabies legend referred to his former Brumbies and Australia teammate as the ‘ninth wonder of the world’ (although not necessarily for a good reason).
Giteau was also asked to compare Smith to his ex No7 adversary, Richie McCaw, and while he was reluctant to compare the two, but it is easy to read between the lines as to who he thought was better.
“He could do everything,” the 103-cap Wallaby said. “George is my favourite. I know it might not be popular, and Richie might go down as one of the greatest ever. I just think the sad part for George is that he never won a World Cup and it’s almost like the NBA, you judge on Championships. George came just at the back end – he played in the 2001 Lions series and he was part of that and won that, people quickly forget that- he was involved in winning Bledisloe Cups, but he never won a World Cup unfortunately. So he got a silver in 2003, and in 2007 we got knocked out in the quarters, so individually, as a player, like I said before, he’s probably the greatest player I played with.
“It was just the way he carried himself. He wasn’t very fit, wasn’t strong, like he was strong but just footy strong and he was footy fit, but in all of the testings… Everyone used to call him the ninth wonder of the world because his body was disgusting. He’s get his shirt off and it was like ‘how does this guy play as well as he does?'”
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