The curse of coronavirus may have put an early end to revered rugby star Matt Giteau’s final season with Japan’s Suntory Sungoliath this year, but that doesn’t mean the Canberra-based father of three has spent 2020 being idle. Unless, of course, you count sampling the odd rosé or three as bunking off.
While so many of us have enjoyed a glass of wine or two over what has been an incredibly long and, at times, incredibly arduous year, Giteau has taken to the business of wines with the same enthusiasm he carried with him on the field.
An appreciation for wine cultivated by the six years he spent living in the south of France as a squad member for Toulon has led him to team up with fellow former Wallabies Adam Ashley-Cooper and Drew Mitchell to launch Backline Wines with award-winning winemaker Ben Riggs.
“Once you get over to France, especially in the summertime, you really come to appreciate your rosés,” Giteau says, now a man who can now legitimately drink as much wine as he likes and classify it as “work”.
“It’s been a really good learning curve and we’re heavily involved — we’re trying to learn and it’s important to branch outside of rugby.”
A sideline in wine doesn’t mean Giteau has let his fitness regime slide, with the 38-year-old focusing on working out in a home gym equipped with a hi-tech Wattbike and a well-used rowing machine.
“I’ve been lucky that iso hasn’t altered my training routine too much,” says Giteau.
“Besides the home gym there’s a field close by to do my running – changing it up keeps me mentally fresh and motivated to stay active.
“Staying fit helps me mentally in a massive way. I always feel great after a fitness session.”
MATT GITEAU ON…
“For me the key to staying healthy and happy is moderation around diet,” Giteau says.
“I don’t deprive myself of anything but if I want something sweet then I have it, just not a massive amount. I think that way I never go on massive splurges where I just smash bad foods.”
“Keeping a routine around exercise is what keeps me accountable,” he says.
“I write out a weekly plan on a Sunday and then that list keeps me accountable for the entire week.”
“In regards to fitness, the main thing is to just start, regardless of how you’re feeling,” Giteau says.
“Start whatever the session is. Once you start, work your way into the session and then go as hard as you can. The hardest part is always starting.”
“I think luck plays a part but a great work ethic coupled with the opportunities given is the real key to success.”
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