A first Test double was sweet for Will Genia, but just playing would have been enough for the Wallabies scrumhalf.
Genia crossed in the 12th and 52nd minutes of the Wallabies’ 36-20 win over Argentina on Saturday night, his first tries in gold since 2013.
While he said that drought wasn’t one he was fazed by, he joked it was good to be able to answer potentially his harshest critic – wife Vanessa.
The returned halfback has relished his chance to play for the Wallabies and even just play any rugby, after a seven-month layoff from a knee injury.
There has been little rust to shake off since he came back, in a run of form that yielded a man of the match award in Perth against the Pumas and Genia said it all came back to a desire to play.
“I had people telling me that you might have to have major surgery and I ended up just having a simple scope after a couple of months but then gave it three or four months to just get everything right so that I could play again,” he said.
“I guess that makes you pretty hungry to get back out there.
“Then when you get back out there, you’re just really happy to be there and you just really want to enjoy it.
“I’m just happy to be on there.”
To finally receive some payoff for training has made his return even better, with the Wallabies notching two wins in a row in the past fortnight.
“ We defended for long periods of time – we could’ve easily just given up and conceded points but the guys stuck to the systems, stuck to the shape in terms of defence,” he said.
“On the other side, when we got the ball, we were, at times we were sloppy but we took our opportunities and scored points where we could.”
Amid his reinvigoration, that he and long-time halves partner Quade Cooper are teaming up again is just icing on the cake.
“He’s made a real difference since he’s come into the side, playing 10 and gives the side really good direction and it’s good to be back playing with him,” he said.
“I really enjoy it and he’s probably one of my favourite players to play with.”
Genia will remain with the Wallabies through the Rugby Championship and said he didn’t anticipate any difficulties negotiating with Stade Francais for a Spring Tour release, if it came to that.
The 28-year-old’s club situation has been markedly different to some of the other Europe-based Wallabies, who had drawn out discussions with their clubs about being released for Tests.
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said Genia’s renewed excitement was showing in his form.
“He’s quite fit and sharp at the moment,” he said.
“He’s got good threats outside him too so there’s opportunities for him to have a go himself and he enjoys that.”