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Wallabies great says Genia’s the man

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    As a former Wallabies and Queensland flyhalf, Paul McLean is a massive fan of the current generation’s No.10, scheming X-factor Quade Cooper.

    But the former Test captain, freshly inducted into the Wallabies Hall of Fame, believes it is Cooper’s right-hand man, Will Genia, who is the player Australia can least afford to lose at the World Cup.

    McLean rates Genia so pivotal to the Wallabies cause he puts the canny and dynamic halfback on the same mantle as the world’s best playmaker, Daniel Carter.

    “I don’t think the All Blacks could win the World Cup without Dan Carter and we might be in the same boat with Will,” he told AAP.

    “Genia is obviously the linchpin. You don’t want to lose your best player.

    “It would be like the Kiwis without Carter but I wouldn’t like to say we couldn’t win it without him.”

    McLean, who played 31 Tests from 1974 to 1982, likened Genia’s integral presence to that of 1991 World Cup-winning skipper and No.9 Nick Farr-Jones.

    “Farr-Jones was such an influential player and that’s what Genia is, he said.

    McLean, who became the third and last 2011 inductee to the Hall of Fame on Thursday, joins Farr-Jones among a band of 23 former Wallabies in the esteemed group.

    Regarded among Australia’s best-ever goalkickers and five-eighths, McLean was also one part of Queensland’s Holy Trinity, along with Mark Loane and Tony Shaw, which helped lead both their state and country out of the rugby mire in the 1970s.

    Genia, Cooper and James Horwill, who will captain the Wallabies for the first time on Saturday night, can be seen as the Holy Trinity Mark II after transforming the Reds and leading them to this year’s Super Rugby title.

    McLean felt the highly-skilled Cooper was on track to join the likes of Michael Lynagh, Mark Ella, Stephen Larkham and himself as a playmaking Test great after developed a strong tactical game in the past 12 months.

    With the development of Cooper, Genia, David Pocock and co., plus an increased depth across the board, McLean is confident the Wallabies can end a 10-year Tri-Nations drought by defeating the All Blacks at Suncorp Stadium and go on with the ability to win the World Cup.

    “We’re in a good position at the moment,” the former Australian Rugby Union president said. “I’m feeling pretty good about it.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (7)

    • August 26th 2011 @ 7:19am
      Jerry said | August 26th 2011 @ 7:19am | ! Report

      Throughout the Reds season I thought Genia was the most important player in their team. He creates a huge threat around the rucks, both with his sniping runs and brilliant short, flat (to be generous) passing game which gives Cooper & the rest of the backline a lot of room to move. Without Genia there keeping the defence honest, the backline has no room to move.

      And he’s starting to cope with pressure better.

    • August 26th 2011 @ 7:53am
      Geoff Brisbane said | August 26th 2011 @ 7:53am | ! Report

      Is he in or out for this game does anyone know???

      • August 26th 2011 @ 9:29am
        Rugby Diehard said | August 26th 2011 @ 9:29am | ! Report

        Lay my left nut that he plays…

      • August 26th 2011 @ 9:30am
        Jimbo said | August 26th 2011 @ 9:30am | ! Report

        It doesn’t look good but who knows what sort of smoke and mirrors they play with the media these days.

        I have to say as much as we want to win this game, in the big picture it might not be a bad thing giving Burgo a run. He hasn’t played in a couple of months and if something happens to Genia in the WC and Burgess runs onto the field for the first time in three months then that’s a concern. Obviously Genia is a better player, but as we can see, he’s not impervious to injury.

    • August 26th 2011 @ 11:03am
      Sage said | August 26th 2011 @ 11:03am | ! Report

      He’s in. Was there ever any doubt ? Just the media. I just hope a wrap like that fom Paul McLean doesn’t put any extra pressure on those stitches

    • August 26th 2011 @ 4:41pm
      Kuruki said | August 26th 2011 @ 4:41pm | ! Report

      I get annoyed constantly hearing ” The All Blacks cant win without Dan Carter”. How come no one rants on about the Aussie’s not being able to win without Cooper. South Africa not being able to win without Morne Steyn. Seems to me to be a convieniant oversight for allot of other teams who would be even less of a threat without there first choice fly half.
      I think i might start a new tune. Aussie cant win without Genia. South Africa cant win without Du Preez. The All blacks cant win without Jimmy Cowan…..oh wait a minute yes we can.

    • August 26th 2011 @ 11:52pm
      Ash said | August 26th 2011 @ 11:52pm | ! Report

      The All Blacks can’t win without Dan Carter.

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