SYDNEY - Former Australia inside centre Matt Giteau has acknowledged his international career is over but the 35-year-old is not quite ready to officially retire.
Giteau played 103 tests for the Wallabies in a 14-year international career, but suffered a broken ankle in the 42-8 loss to New Zealand in August 2016 and has not featured for Michael Cheika's side since.
He left French club Toulon last year to join Suntory Sungoliath in Japan and despite playing the minimum requirement of 60 tests to qualify for selection as an overseas-based Wallaby, Giteau admitted that his time had probably passed.
"I haven't made a big song and dance, and a big banner or anything that says 'I'm retired'," Giteau told Australia's Fox Sports on Friday. "I don't know if I see the need to do that.
"There are better players than me in my position in Australian rugby. When you've got that and you can recognise that, I think that's a clear enough sign that your time is up, for me, internationally."
The Wallabies host Six Nations champions Ireland in a three-match series in June before the southern hemisphere's Rugby Championship, and Giteau said he would help Cheika in any way he could, but that would probably not include lacing up his boots.
"I'm just going to keep supporting him and helping out wherever I can, if there is an opportunity to help out," Giteau said. "But from a playing point of view, I'd think that's it."
Giteau was regarded as one of the best Australia players of his generation and was utilised as either a flyhalf or inside centre after making his debut against England at Twickenham in 2002.
He was an ever-present for almost a decade but fell out of favour with then coach Robbie Deans ahead of the 2011 World Cup and headed to France, seemingly ending his test career then.
However, Cheika was desperate to include him in the 2015 World Cup plans and argued for a change to Rugby Australia's selection policy, which allowed him to pick overseas-based players -- a move since named the 'Giteau law'.
He was recalled to the side after a four-year absence in 2015 and inspired the side to the World Cup final against the All Blacks later that year but was forced off after just 26 minutes with a concussion as Australia lost 34-17.
His next test was his final one and that also ended early.
"No regrets at all," he said.