Queensland Reds halfback Will Genia has today announced he will remain with the Queensland Reds for the next three seasons, just days after the Reds announced he was leaving to join the Western Force.
In a press conference at 11am today, Genia said he had changed his mind about leaving the Reds a number of times and ‘scary thoughts’ about leaving the Reds made up his mind following the weekend’s win again the Blues.
Genia and Reds coach Ewen McKenzie held a press conference at 11am today where the dramatic u-turn was announced.
“I always maintained a strong desire to stay in Queensland with the Reds, however I also received offers from both here in Australia and from overseas and I considered my options,” Genia said.
“(Coach) Ewen (McKenzie) asked me after the game on Friday whether I was going to be staying with the Reds and I told him I was going to join the Western Force.
“When I considered my options over the weekend, I realised it didn’t really sit well with me and my heart was in Queensland and that’s where I want to play my rugby.”
It was speculated last week that Genia had sought over $400,000 a season from the Reds, not including top-up from the Australian Rugby Union.
I has been reported that The Force had offered Genia a massive $600,000 per season to head west.
Genia mentioned in the conference that his mate David Pocock would be disappointed with the announcement. Attention now shifts to the future of Pocock at the Force, with his contract still in negotiations and the prospects of Genia joining him at the franchise now ended.
QRU Media Release in full: Genia recommits to Queensland Rugby
Champion halfback and St.George Queensland Reds vice-captain Will Genia has recommitted to Queensland Rugby until the end of season 2015, subject to ARU protocols.
Genia confirmed his desire to remain with the Reds after revisiting earlier discussions with CEO Jim Carmichael, Chairman Rod McCall and Head Coach Ewen McKenzie on Sunday afternoon and expressing his strong desire to remain in Queensland.
The 24-year-old initially indicated to coach Ewen McKenzie on Friday night following the Blues victory that he would be leaving his foundation Super Rugby club at the end of the 2012 – but has since rescinded any thought of moving on from the Reds.
Genia put pen to paper this morning and will remain in Queensland with the Reds.
“I always maintained a strong desire to stay in Queensland with the Reds, however I also received offers from both here in Australia and from overseas, and I considered my options,” Genia said.
“Ewen asked me after the game on Friday whether I was going to be staying with the Reds and I told him I was going to join the Western Force at the end of the season.
“But when I considered my options over the weekend I realised it really didn’t sit well with me and my heart was in Queensland and that’s where I want to play my Rugby.”
Queensland Rugby CEO Jim Carmichael said Genia’s decision to remain at the Reds was significant to the organisation’s ongoing success.
“I believe that Queensland Rugby made the best, fiscally responsible offer that we could to keep Will in Queensland, and ultimately when he was faced with a final decision over the weekend, Will agreed that the Reds is the best place for him to be for his immediate and long term rugby future,” Mr Carmichael said.
“Will has made a rugby-based decision to remain in Queensland for significantly less money and an offer which we feel will allow us to build a highly competitive roster subject to ARU salary cap protocols – which are largely still to be determined.”
Queensland coach Ewen McKenzie said he was pleased to retain the services of the Wallaby halfback.
“It was disappointing to have to come to terms with Will leaving us and possibly playing against the Reds in 2013, however, we’re pleased he’s decided to choose what’s best for his Rugby future by staying in Queensland,” McKenzie said.
“He’s an integral player in our side, our vice-captain and I’m sure all Reds members and fans will be thrilled he has recommitted through to the end of 2015.
“In the past six months, Digby Ioane, and the Faingaa Twins and now Will have all agreed to stay on at the Reds, not for the best price but for what we offer here in terms of the environment, culture and elite Rugby program.”
Genia is in his sixth Super Rugby campaign with the Reds and has played every minute of the 2012 season since scoring the Reds’ Super Rugby title winning try in the 2011 final at Suncorp Stadium.
He captained the Reds in the absence of regular skipper James Horwill for almost the entire 2010 season and won consecutive Pilecki Medals for the Queensland Reds Players’ Player of the Year in 2010 and 2011.
Genia has been an integral player and on-field leader for the Reds side since being plucked out of the U19 Queensland Colts competition to make his Super Rugby debut against the Hurricanes back in 2007.
Date of Birth: 17/01/1988
Place of Birth: Papua New Guinea
Senior Club: Norths
Queensland Caps: 67
Queensland Points: 58
Queensland Debut: 2006 v Japan
Super Rugby Caps: 66
Super Rugby Points: 58
Super Rugby Debut: 2007 v Hurricanes
Test Caps: 33
Test Points: 25
Test Debut: 2009 v All Blacks