Genia sensing deja vu in Melbourne

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

There's a sense of deja vu in Melbourne for Will Genia.

When he arrived at Ballymore as an 18-year-old fresh out of Brisbane Boys College, Eddie Jones was calling the shots.

Known for his intensity and meticulous planning in every facet of his team's preparation, Jones is an idiosyncratic coach if there has ever been one.

Genia has notched 88 Test caps, 114 Super Rugby caps and spent three seasons overseas in the 12 years that have followed and he has finally come across a coach that reminds him of Jones barking orders in his formative years - Rebels coach Dave Wessels.

"He's very enthusiastic and he's quite an intense character as well," Genia said of Wessels.Will Genia has no regrets about his move to Melbourne. Photo: Melbourne Rebels Media"The one thing that I do enjoy is that he pushes you - he pushes you to want to be the best that you can be and I think the biggest thing that I have noticed so far is just the intensity.

"The intensity that he brings to the session, the intensity that he brings to the group.

"(Wessels) is a little bit like him but I don't think anyone is as intense as Eddie Jones."

On a personal front, Genia holds no regrets about his move to Melbourne despite publicly stating his desire to return to the Reds throughout 2017.

"I was pretty adamant that I wanted to go back to Queensland but once I sat down and had a think about things, I think I was ready for a fresh start coming back here to Australia," he said.

"I realised that I did actually leave the Reds in 2015 for a reason.

"That was to search for something new and I knew I wasn't going to find that going back there, as well.Genia achieved all he had desired in Queensland. Photo: Getty Images"I had done everything that I wanted to do with the Reds and I think, honestly, I have firmly closed that chapter in my life.

"I'm really looking forward to working with a new coaching staff - a young coaching staff - and a new playing group that is very hungry for success."

Genia will have a mortgage on Melbourne's halfback jersey in 2018 but who will start alongside him at flyhalf remains somewhat of a mystery.

Reece Hodge has been predominantly training at inside centre and with Jono Lance nursing a broken hand suffered during his time with Worcester at the end of last year, Genia has been training alongside a few different playmakers.

"Hodgey has been training a little bit more at 12 but you have Tayler Adams at 10, Jack McGregor and even Jack Maddocks as well," Genia said.

"We have a number of options there and because a lot of them are quite young other than Hodgey it will come down to training performance and the training paddock and how they go in trial games."Quade Cooper is unwanted at Ballymore. Photo: WalmsleyOn the topic of playmakers, Genia said he hoped Quade Cooper would find a new home, having been discarded by new Reds coach Brad Thorn.

"He's one of my good mates and more than that, he's one of my favourite players that I've ever played with and to ever watch," Genia said.

"I find myself watching him on YouTube every now and then because he is just a great player.

"I just hope we see him playing again at that top level soon.

"Either against him or with him because as I said, he is a great player and he has so much to offer, still."