Genia looking forward to England reunion

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Will Genia will be back at Twickenham next weekend for the first time since the Rugby World Cup, but that tournament is well and truly out of his mind.

Genia was unavailable for the Wallabies-England clash at the venue last year, as well as the 2016 June Series, with the Test outside the November window and the halfback still playing with Stade Francais, and will relish the chance to lock horns with the old enemy.

"I’m really looking forward to it," he said.

"I missed out on the England games last year so on a personal note, I’m just looking forward to that big challenge."

The last time Genia was part of an Australia-England clash was that 2015 tournament, where the Wallabies put in one of their best performances in history to knock the hosts out of the pool stage.

Genia said that 33-13 victory was a match where everything came together for the Wallabies.

“A lot of stuff came off and it was on the back of good preparation,” he said.

“We were sharp mentally and physically and we just gave every opportunity to play well and guys went out there and executed.”

Regardless of where it rates in history, Genia won’t be preoccupied with nostalgia, or hype, as the Wallabies look towards England.

“It was a great performance [in 2015] but that is all sort of done and it’s similar to the game tonight,” he said.

“People talk about the record we have here (in Wales) but none of it counts for anything once you get on the field.

“We’re not worried about things that have happened before.

“The game isn’t extra special, it’s just for us as we get to London, we do our work and give ourselves a chance of performing on Saturday.”

It’s a stance echoed by coach Michael Cheika, who had his eyes firmly forward after a 13th-straight win over Wales.

“Any match you go out starting at zero-zero,” he said.

“What happens six months ago, 12 months ago, two years ago is irrelevant with different players, different mindset, different conditions.

“We're humans and we love to pick these patterns but at the end of day it's what happens next.

“It's only about what happens in the future that counts.”

Australia will take plenty of pride from their gutsy performance against Wales, an effort that evoked their 2015 World Cup pool win against the Welsh.

“Big games are won the back of defence,” Genia said.

“Those sorts of things show the character of teams.”

In attack, as well, the Wallabies were pleased, with forwards finishing off three of their four tries, before a Kurtley Beale one-on-one steal on Steff Evans sealed the game.

“I thought our points were quite well constructed,” Genia said.

“There was the driving maul and Hoops’ try and Adz’ as well. We can take some confidence on the back of how we scored our points.”

The Wallabies will have a rare reprieve from their Sunday airport trip, jumping on a bus to go just three hours’ north to London, ahead of a big England week.

Australia takes on England on Saturday November 18, kicking off at 3pm local, Sunday 2am AEDT, LIVE on beIN Sports and SBS.