Genia urges fans to keep Bledisloe faith

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies vice-captain Will Genia has urged fans to forget about Australia’s Super Rugby dramas and head out to the opening Bledisloe.

Genia will be on the forefront of what the side feels is somewhat of a new start, a vice-captain for the road to the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Though it seems punters might turn their backs on the national side’s first Rugby Championship Test, given the year Australian rugby has had and the Wallabies’ 15-year Bledisloe drought.

Genia said, though, that the chance to turn the tide was driving each of the players and should be a lure for spectators as well.

“It’s not Australia v New Zealand in terms of Super Rugby teams, it's Australia v New Zealand -  our two countries with a huge rivalry and history, why wouldn't you want to be there?” he said.

“Every chance that we get to play them is an opportunity to beat them, which we haven't done in a long time so if we work hard, we get that done, you're going to want to be there to witness it.Genia says the Wallabies are united. Photo: ARU Media“I can tell you now we're working extremely hard and we're going to give it absolutely everything next Saturday.

“So, get there and give yourself a chance to watch some history.”

Genia said he still felt somewhat outside of Australia’s Super Rugby environment, having not played for the Reds since 2015, loath to point fingers about the process or the state of the code.

The final decision of arbitration between the ARU and Rugby WA is expected to be handed down this week, while the Rebels added a new twist, with Andrew Cox selling the club back to the VRU last week.

“I still feel kind of removed from it,” he said.

“It's not that I don't take interest in it, it's just I don't like to get involved in having too much of an opinion on things that don't really affect me - it's about all the big bosses and them making the right decisions for the game.

“I can't sit here and criticise people or say this and that because I don't know exactly what's going on.”

Genia said it was down to the players to bring the Wallabies forward in the coming weeks and years towards the next World Cup.

”Cheik's even said within the group that it's the start of something new moving forward and the onus and responsibility's on us as players to drive that because there's a whole lot of new players within the squad and they need to be educated on what it is, how it is that they have to be to be involved in Test rugby,” he said.

“(That’s) both training and playing but also carrying yourself around the group.

“With a lot of those young guys are in the leadership group too so it's about driving that not just as senior players but as everybody.”

The Wallabies squad has convened in Cessnock this week for a camp before heading to Penrith in the lead-up to the opening Bledisloe.

Australia takes on New Zealand in the first Bledisloe on August 19, kicking off at 8pm AEST LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Network Ten and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO. Buy tickets here.

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