Wallabies Abroad: Genia named for Top 14 return

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by Beth Newman

Will Genia is set to make his Top 14 return this weekend, starting at scrumhalf for Stade Francais in his first French club match since January.

Genia’s availability for the Wallabies opening Spring Tour match is still unclear, with the national side hoping for a release for the clash with Wales, despite it being outside the official Test window.

Will Genia deserves praise for his opening Bledisloe performance. Photo: Getty ImagesThe 28-year-old has not played for Stade in almost 10 months, after undergoing knee surgery at the start of the year, before joining up with the Wallabies for the Rugby Championship.

Genia will be up against a familiar face, with former Reds teammate Mike Harris playing at flyhalf for Stade’s opponents, Lyon, this weekend.

Joe Tomane has been named for his French debut, playing at inside centre for Montpellier against La Rochelle.

Tomane will line up alongside former Brumbies teammate Nic White in Montpellier’s starting team, while Jesse Mogg will start on the pine.


Good to be back on the training paddock with the boys 😁. #AllezMontpellier #Underarmour

A photo posted by Joe Tomane (@joetomane) on

James O’Connor will play fullback for Toulon against Grenoble, with ex-Waratah and Brumbies back Matt Carraro on the wing.

Peter Kimlin will play blindside flanker for Grenoble in that clash.

Bordeaux and Clermont are yet to name their lineups for matches against Castres and Brive, respectively.


Scott Higginbotham will start at six for the NRC Green Rockets against the Kobelco Steelers.

George Smith will start at eight for Suntory Sungoliath, as they look to maintain their top two spot, facing the Kubota Spears.

Wycliff Palu is retiring from international rugby. Photo: Getty ImagesWycliff Palu will make another position switch for the Toyota Verblitz, starting at blindside flanker, having played number eight and in the second row for the side this season.

Taqele Naiyaravoro will come off the bench for reigning champions Panasonic, while Daniel Heenan will start in the second row, though Berrick Barnes will miss another match.

Mark Gerrard will line up at fullback for the  Wild Knights’ opponents, the Toyota Industries Shuttles.

Former Reds teammates Anthony Faingaa and Digby Ioane will face off in the Honda-Kintetsu clash, with Faingaa at inside centre for the Liners and Ioane on the bench for the winless Heat.


Lachie turner will start for the Chiefs. Photo: Getty ImagesLachie Turner will run on at fullback for Exeter Chiefs, while Greg Holmes and Dave Dennis will pack down in the forwards, at loosehead prop and blindside flanker, respectively.

Peter Betham will play at outside centre for Leicester, who face a major challenge against Saracens this weekend, a side that has lost just one of their last 18 games in any tournament.

James Horwill is set to start at lock again for Harlequins, when they take on Worcester.