The thrill of Will to boost the ailing Western Force
The Western Force can look forward to surviving on more than basic rations in 2013 with the news that gun scrum-half Will Genia will be crossing the Nullarbor to call the shots out west.
Firstly, credit must go to his slick management and their SAS-style management routines for somehow keeping the this information from the pencil vultures right up until the cat was released from the bag.
Secondly, homage to Genia for a bold and ballsy rugby decision. Obviously the sizeable boost in bread helps, but this is an adventurous move to an underachieving team from the comfort zone of a structure that made him a star.
And you can hear the rugby faithful in Western Australia begin to breathe again.
A couple of weeks ago, the joint was long-faced and looking potentially threadbare with the departure of coach Richard Graham and the grapevine suggesting that club icon David Pocock was also musing about nicking off inland.
The franchise and its believers were preparing for existence as a charitable organisation who would be running their business from beneath the rugby poverty line.
But if you believe in the domino theory, then this prodigious coup should ensure they will be living on a lot more than $2 worth of talent a day in 2013.
The Sunday morning rumour mill is now saying that Pocock is now on the verge of hanging around, which will give the Force a heap of pull and profile in and around the ruck as well as off the paddock.
With Genia setting up digs in Perth and Pocock deciding to hang, there’s no doubting that the Force brand will go from being unattractive and far-flung to a pheromone-surging plausible performer and a tangy carrot to the best available coaching talent to replace the departed Graham.
Ditto for any available high-profile players who are considering a change of employer.
This is the defibrillation that the Western Force needs.
Their committed and hardy fan-base, who turn up in good numbers every home game, deserve this type of signing to remind them that their club is seen as a professional and potentially successful place by top-line players.
The club currently treads water in Super Rugby, which is laudable considering their budget playing list.
They need the habit of winning to shore up their profile in the West, and expensive items with champion pedigree like Genia will go a long way to making that happen.
I love to ensconce myself in the velvet of organised contests.