'Nimble' Genia close to return: Philip

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

A “nimble” Will Genia is desperate to return to the Rebels fold on Saturday, with the first June Test just under a fortnight away.

Genia was rated a 50-50 chance of lining up in the clash against the Sunwolves so he must be considered more likely than not to return against the Blues at Eden Park.

Lock Matt Philip said the return of the Wallabies halfback remained “up in the air” but he trained with the team on Monday.

“He looks like he is moving around pretty nimbly - he’s looking alright,” Philip said.

“I think it’s still up in the air at the moment but I think he’d like to tell you he’s ready to go.Genia trained with Melbourne on Monday. Photo: Getty Images“We’ll have to wait until the team gets announced.”

The Rebels have had very little success in New Zealand but with confidence building off the back of two straight wins, the return of Genia would have them primed to upset the Blues.

“Any New Zealand team is a big challenge but the boys are definitely up for it today,” Philip said.

“I think we’re starting to build that confidence back up that we had at the start of the year.

“We’re going back to things we’re good at and it’s starting to show on the field.”Sonny Bill Williams will pose a serious threat in midfield for Melbourne. Photo: Getty ImagesNullifying the Ioane brothers and Sonny Bill Williams will prove integral to ending Melbourne’s run of outs in New Zealand, according to Philip.

“I think the Blues have a few individual superstars in their team,” he said.

“Sonny Bill Williams, Rieko Ioane, Akira Ioane, just to name a few.

“If we shut down those players the result will come after that.”

The Rebels face the Blues at Eden Park on Saturday, kicking off at 3:15pm AEST, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS and RUGBY.com.au radio.