Rebels must relieve pressure on Debreczeni: Genia

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

The Rebels must take some playmaking responsibility off flyhalf Jack Debreczeni to see him flourish, according to Will Genia.

The star Rebels recruit will play his first match in the red, blue and white against his beloved Reds on Friday night and that will double with his first start alongside Debreczeni.

The 24-year-old will take control of a high powered attack for the first time in his career, adding extra intrigue to a match that provokes plenty of question marks.

"He's someone that's very enthusiastic about the game and he's made it no secret that he's rediscovered that love having gone to Japan," Genia said.

"The biggest thing for us as a group is to make sure we take that stress, that pressure off him.

"Guys like Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, myself, Mafi inside him, we can do that so he can just be instinctive, play and have fun."

Should they be able to relieve that stress, Genia believes Debreczeni will fire.

"We want him to back himself," he said.

"Run the ball, kick the ball, do whatever he feels based on what's in front of him.

"I think if he does that, he'll have a good game."

While plenty of eyes will be on Debreczeni there will also be plenty of attention on Genia, who is a proud Queenslander.

Watching him take on the Reds will be a touch jarring for most Australian rugby fans but the Wallabies halfback has no reservations ahead of his Rebels debut.

"I love Queensland, I'm a Queenslander and I'll always love the Reds," he said.

"I'm proud of everything I was lucky enough to achieve there but professional sport is a business and I understand that.

"There wasn't the opportunity to go back there but as I said, I've really embraced the culture with this group and to be honest, I'm going to be as competitive as ever.

"I'll be playing as hard, if not harder, as I was at the Reds."

Genia is expecting Queensland's players to emulate the style of play their coach became famous for as they start another rebuild.

"I think they'll be fit, they'll be very physical and they'll have an approach that he had as a player," he said.

"(Thorn) is still quite fresh out of the game in that toughness and that edge to their game."

Genia has no concerns regarding the back injury that limited his preseason, though he is unlikely to play the full 80 minutes.

The Rebels host the Reds at AAMI Park on Friday night, kicking off at 7:45pm AEDT, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS.