It’s the Reds or bust for Will Genia, as he looks for a return to Australian rugby in 2018.
Genia was in Brisbane last week before coming to Melbourne for Wallabies camp and said he felt like he was closer to finding a happy conclusion with Queensland.
Reportedly much of the deal rests with the ARU’s ability to give Genia a top-up, given the Reds already have three halfbacks locked in for next year, in Nick Frisby, James Tuttle and Moses Sorovi.
Genia said on Monday that arriving back in Queensland looked more viable after discussions last week, with ‘intent’ from both sides.
“There’s a few things that need to happen that obviously I can’t speak too much on but the most important thing is there’s intent from both myself and the Australian rugby that we want to make it happen and hopefully it does,” he said.
Things are complicated by his European contract, with Stade Francais having bought the rights to Genia off Bath, meaning the English club would also have to agree to his release, with one year still remaining on the deal.
If he can’t get a deal with the Reds, Genia says he won’t be looking at other clubs in Australia, likely to simply remain in Paris.
“I think for me if I’m to come home it’s to Queensland or probably just stay in Paris,” he said.
“For me I love playing for Queensland, I always have.
“I’ve been there since I started my career and finished my Australian rugby career there, so hopefully we can get something done and I can go back and finish my career there.”
Though Genia is working hard to get back to Australia a year before his contract finishes with Stade Francais, he said he had no regrets about opting to head overseas in the first place.
“I think so just because it’s refreshed me and given me a new energy to want to come back and contribute (to Australian rugby),” he said.
Though it might seem Genia has the Wallabies number nine locked up, he’ not taking anything for granted against new faces Joe Powell and Jake Gordon.
The former Red said he viewed the rookies as serious competition for his spot, but also hoped he could impart some of his experience on the uncapped duo.
“If anything I feel like being a little bit older and having played a little bit more footy than them, I’d like to help,” he said.
“If they’ve got any questions, I’d like to feel as though i’m open enough for them to ask and help along the way.”
The Wallabies are playing their first June Test on Saturday June 10, kicking off at 3pm AEST LIVE on FOX SPORTS. Buy tickets here.