Genia treating final like it's his last

by staff

Will Genia is approaching this Test like it’s his last.

Will Genia may yet play for the Wallabies again once this World Cup is over, but the Wallabies halfback feels very much like this will be his Test farewell.

The Wallabies halfback will head to Paris after the World Cup is over to prepare to begin the next phase of his career, with Stade Francais.

Genia is one of a handful of Wallabies taking up overseas contracts next season, along with Adam Ashley-Cooper, Quade Cooper, Sekope Kepu among others departing Super Rugby.

Despite having played more than the 60 Tests needed to remain eligible for international duty while based overseas, the 27-year-old said he wasn’t necessarily expecting his Wallabies career to extend far beyond Sunday.

“For me, obviously I’ll be eligible and if I’m playing well and I’m lucky enough I’ll get picked,” he said.

“But I kind of see this as my last Test ‘cause when you go overseas, things change, your mindset, your mentality, everything.

“So for me I kind of see this as my last Test for Australia and I want to make the most of it and really enjoy it.”

Genia has embraced this World Cup with a different view to the past and he has been able to share some special moments with his family.

Daughter Olivia joined him on the field on Sunday after the Wallabies’ semi-final win, a moment he was able to share after his last home Super Rugby game earlier this year.

“It was incredible to take her onto the field and share a special moment with her on the pitch,” he said.

“It was amazing and took me back to Suncorp when I took her out onto the field for my last game.

“It’s one of those ones you can’t put into words but it’s obviously very special.”

Genia has been one of the linchpins of this Wallabies side in his combination with flyhalf Bernard Foley, in a run that has come after an intense battle with Nick Phipps and Nic White for a starting spot, first in the 31-man squad and then in Australia’s starting XV.

After an injury hiccup during the Rugby Championship, Genia has returned to some of his best form and he said he felt a special motivation to perform for himself and his teammates.

“You don’t ever want to go out there and perform poorly,” he said.

“I think being a part of this group, it’s just such a special group of players and I love being involved with everything from the coaching staff through to the players, the medical staff, everyone.

“It’s one of those things - you want to go out and perform to the best of your ability on the training field and make sure you get the job done.and you enjoy that success together.

“I think that’s been a big thing that’s been driving me through this tournament but also just being a part of this group.”

He might not pull off a 55-metre run on Sunday, like that which sealed the 2011 Super Rugby title for the Reds, but his role as link man has been essential for Australia this World Cup.

In an end to the first chapter of his international career, Genia is focused on just one thing - the next step in this World Cup.

“We feel like we’ve been playing knockout rugby right from the start because we’ve had to play against such good opposition and quality opposition,” he said.

“I think that’s helped us narrow our focus and will help us throughout this week as well.”