Australian Wallabies 2019 Rugby World Cup Media Access
Australian Wallabies 2019 Rugby World Cup Media Access

Genia fine starting on the bench for Wallabies

Will Genia says he doesn't mind coming off the bench against Wales this weekend if his match-turning cameo against Fiji isn't enough to earn him a starting spot.

There have been calls for the veteran halfback to be reinstated in the No.9 jersey after he used all his big match experience to steer the Wallabies out of trouble and to a comfortable win in their World Cup opener against Fiji.

But the 31-year-old said he was perfectly fine about starting as a reserve if the selectors opt to stick with Nic White for this weekend's critical Pool D clash with Wales.

"I'm happy doing whatever," he said. "I don't mind, I'm just happy to contribute to the team in whatever positive way I can.

"Whether that's start or finish the game, playing five minutes, 10 minutes, 60 minutes, whatever it is, I'm more than happy doing whatever is required of me for the team."

As one of the oldest and most experienced players in the Wallaby World Cup squad, Genia's moving to the beat of a different drum these days.

On the team's day off on Monday, he took his daughter Olivia to Tokyo Disneyland, just across from the team's hotel, and while once upon a time being left on the bench might have infuriated him, he now sees it differently.

 

 

"Probably experience helps," he said. "You know what to look for, you know how to change the game when you get on. Coming off the bench you have that benefit of seeing what's working and what's not working."

One of the benefits for Genia starting on the bench this week is that he will get to finish the game. When the Wallabies beat the Welsh at the 2015 World Cup, he did start but wasn't there at the end so wants to be there this time in what he knows will be a tough match.

"I got a yellow card in around the 50th minute and I didn't come back on, so I was pretty disappointed," he said.

 

Will Genia helped steer Australia out of trouble against Fiji. Picture: Getty Images
Will Genia helped steer Australia out of trouble against Fiji. Picture: Getty Images

 

"They are a very good team, very disciplined in their approach, both with and without the ball. A very, very good defensive side, so it's going to be hard to break them down with the ball in hand.

"They are a very good kicking team, very good aerially, They have a lot of the fundamentals of the game covered really well.

"In terms of breaking them down it is going to take patience, holding on to the ball for long periods of time, being smart with how we attack.

"Patience with and without the ball - we speak about that being a strength of theirs but it is going to be something we are going to have as well."

 

 

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News Corp Australia


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