Force snare Will Genia from Reds

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    Superstar Wallabies halfback Will Genia will quit the Queensland Reds at the end of the Super Rugby season to link up with the Western Force.

    And in another massive coup for the Force, champion flanker David Pocock is on the verge of re-signing with the Perth-based franchise.

    Genia has been a mainstay of the Wallabies and Reds for the past few seasons and is widely considered the premier scrum-half in world rugby.

    But it seems a hefty asking price has forced him out of Queensland’s set-up.

    Genia reportedly wanted upwards of $400,000 per season to stay at the Reds, who were set to face a battle to retain all of their star-studded squad.

    The Reds confirmed Genia’s defection on Saturday night, saying the 24-year-old had agreed to terms with the Force.

    However, Genia can’t put pen to paper with the Force until his Australian Rugby Union deal is sorted.

    Queensland chief executive Jim Carmichael said the Reds tried their best to retain Genia.

    “I believe Queensland Rugby made the best offer we could to retain Will’s services in Queensland,” Carmichael said in a statement.

    “However, the opportunity presented to head west was ultimately more appealing to Will.”

    The Force’s acquisition of Genia, combined with the retention of Pocock, is a mighty double coup to the success-starved franchise.

    Just last week, the Force’s off-field affairs appeared in tatters when coach Richard Graham announced his defection to the Reds.

    How quickly things can change.

    Genia and Pocock were among five players shortlisted for the IRB’s world player of the year award in 2011.

    Queensland’s 174cm terrier-like half was integral to the Reds’ Super Rugby title-winning campaign, while Pocock battles New Zealand’s Richard McCaw for the tag of the world’s best No.7.

    The star pair could help attract a host of other talented players to the club for next season, boosting the Force’s chances of finally breaking through for a maiden finals appearance in 2013.

    Queensland’s loss of Genia is a major blow to the 2011 champions, who rely heavily on the halves combination of Genia-Quade Cooper.

    Ironically it will be ex-Force coach Graham who will feel the pinch the most, with Graham taking over as Queensland coach from Ewen McKenzie next season.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (13)

    • April 29th 2012 @ 7:36am
      sportym said | April 29th 2012 @ 7:36am | ! Report

      Gotta feel sorry for the Reds. And a real shame that modern OZ Rugby players chase the $$$. Don’t like the chances of an OZ team winning a super title in the near future, with the Brumbies looking like the best chance if they stay together.

    • Roar Guru

      April 29th 2012 @ 8:16am
      The Bush said | April 29th 2012 @ 8:16am | ! Report

      Power on Will. As plenty have said on this forum before – who can begrudge someone seeking and getting a pay rise elsewhere? Doesn’t matter though, because the force will need a lot more than one stars signature to achieve anything like the success the Reds enjoyed last year.

    • April 29th 2012 @ 8:23am
      kingplaymaker said | April 29th 2012 @ 8:23am | ! Report

      The Bush many other players could move to the Force with Genia there, and then it all depends on who they appoint as coach.

      • April 29th 2012 @ 9:02am
        BROOKE48 said | April 29th 2012 @ 9:02am | ! Report

        KPM lets hope carmichael goes back to melbourne because he doesnt understand the rugby culture.
        lets hope mckenzie goes back to sydney because he is a transparent user.

      • Roar Guru

        April 29th 2012 @ 2:52pm
        The Bush said | April 29th 2012 @ 2:52pm | ! Report

        I don’t really care who comes and who goes – they’re all professional athletes making a living. As long as they’re available for the Wallabies and I can still see them on TV I don’t care.

        The Reds, like the Waratahs, don’t have any excuse anyway, we should have an endless production line of players coming through. If we don’t, I blame the management, not the players who leave to make their fortune.

    • Roar Guru

      April 29th 2012 @ 9:47am
      stillmissit said | April 29th 2012 @ 9:47am | ! Report

      I am amazed that the Force have been a bit cash strapped in the most wealthy state (at the moment) in Australia. I would have thought Gina Rhinehart or someone would have written off a tax check as a sign the West is capable of winning the title.

      Will is great and Pocock is essential but where is the 5/8? I would be looking at Jesse Mogg as a future 5/8 or Kurtley Beale. The chance to play permanently in that spot along with the money may be what is needed to get them over there.

    • April 29th 2012 @ 10:15am
      formeropenside said | April 29th 2012 @ 10:15am | ! Report

      Typical poaching Force, unable to develop their own players and acting as parasites on Queensland once again.

      • April 29th 2012 @ 12:08pm
        Justin said | April 29th 2012 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

        FOS – thats the reality, it aint new so get over it! We have 5 sides to fill so players will move.

    • Roar Guru

      April 29th 2012 @ 2:12pm
      Cattledog said | April 29th 2012 @ 2:12pm | ! Report

      Well done Carmichael for not getting into a bidding war for Genia. Responsible financial management is the key to remaining competitive and strong. Genia, in reality, came from nowhere to be the player he is today. There will be others behind him as Queensland continues to produce talent through their improving pathways.

      FOS, whilst I hear you, realistically, WA or VIC will not be producing the players of the necessary calibre in any numbers in the near future. NSW and QLD will still remain the nursery for players for all the franchises for generations I suspect. We are continuing to produce high calibre players here in QLD, particularly the SE corner (where the GPS schools play their part in identifying and coaching some great talent) so our pool will continue to grow. With every move such as this, the flow on effect and opportunities for individuals is enormous.

      • Roar Guru

        April 30th 2012 @ 2:59am
        Jiggles said | April 30th 2012 @ 2:59am | ! Report

        Carmichael got this one right. You can have a fantastic team with an OK halfback and still do very well. NZ has been doing pretty well over the years with out really great halfbacks. The key is keeping a good and aggressive tight 5 together, a solid 5/8 and at least 2 good strike weapons in the backline.

        You’re right about Queensland though. The state and more specifically the GPS system has been producing the best talent in Australia for years.

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