Genia all smiles as Rebels sign Cooper, get band back together

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

The Rebels are officially getting the band back together again and Will Genia couldn't be happier.

Quade Cooper's move to Melbourne, first revealed by RUGBY.com.au in September, was finally confirmed by the club on Tuesday.

Cooper and Genia will be club teammates once again for the first time in four years when Super Rugby rolls around next year and the superstar Wallabies halfback said he couldn't wait to finally have the mercurial flyhalf back playing at the level he belongs.

"I just think the best thing for him is to get back to playing at this level just because he has so much to offer," Genia said.

"If he can do that and find some consistency in his performance I think he'll find some solace in that rather than playing for Souths.

"As much as he would have enjoyed it, he deserves to be at this level and probably owes it to himself as well."

Cooper didn't pull any punches on his way out of Ballymore.Cooper spent the majority of 2018 playing for Souths. QRU Media/Brendan HertelHe followed an eye catching Instagram post on Monday night with one final parting shot on Tuesday.

Reds coach Brad Thorn - who banished Cooper from the club before the start of last season - was the target of the social media rampage.

The pair didn't see eye to eye from the moment Thorn took charge in Brisbane but Genia has no such concerns regarding Cooper and Rebels coach Dave Wessels.

"I think he'll work really well with Dave (Wessels)," Genia said.

"He's a young coach but very firm on what he wants from players and organisation.

"I think that direction will only be good for Quade."

Genia also has no doubt Cooper still has what it takes to star at Super Rugby level.Will Genia is all smiles in Tokyo. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley"The guy is a special player and he's got some strengths that no other player has in the world," Genia said.

"Some of the things he brings onto himself, I'm not going to lie, but I think the majority of it is a bit unfair, that bandwagon mentality of people saying 'I'm going to spray him as well'.

"I know he's going to have a huge impact on the group and he'll definitely give us an opportunity to win the comp."

And while Cooper had no qualms with firing a few parting shots at Thorn on his way out the door, Genia didn't have any harsh words for the Reds mentor.

Rather, he labelled the decision as one which showed great strength.

"He's come from the New Zealand rugby environment, where they believe in certain things, were culture's important to him," he said.

"Whether he's right or wrong he feels that a direction he wants to take.

"You've certainly got to give him credit for being strong in doing that, because it's hard on Quade but it's also hard on him to take that stance.

"I don't think it's right or wrong one way or another but he's certainly shown a lot of strength in making his decision and sticking by it."

The Wallabies face the All Blacks in Yokohama on Saturday, kicking off at 5pm AEDT, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Channel Ten and RUGBY.com.au radio.