Will Genia has confirmed his playing future, signing a two-year deal with Australian rugby that will see him play his Super Rugby with the Melbourne Rebels.
The deal ensures the 29-year-old remains with the Wallabies until the end of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
While Genia’s return to Australia, after playing with Stade Francais since the last World Cup, is no great surprise, but it was initially thought the Wallabies vice-captain would link up with his former club, the Queensland Reds, on his return to Super Rugby.
However, with reports emerging in the past few weeks that the experienced scrum-half would be headed to Melbourne instead, Genia today confirmed the news, saying he was looking forward to playing with the Rebels.
“I’m really looking forward to joining the guys down in Melbourne, they have a great young team with plenty still to achieve in Super Rugby, so I’m excited to get stuck in in 2018,” Genia said.
“First and foremost I’m there to contribute to the desired success of the club on the field through my performance and ability as a player. After that, it’ll be a great chance to bring some of the things I’ve learned over the years to the club, and help drive the club forward.
“I was always clear that I wanted to return to Australian rugby. I love playing for my country and can’t wait to have another opportunity to pull on the gold jersey this weekend.”
Since making his Super Rugby debut in 2007 for the Reds, Genia has gained a wealth of experience. The scrum-half made 114 appearances for the Queensland side, including a starring performance in their 2011 Super Rugby final victory over the Crusaders, and has earned 78 caps for the Wallabies.
Rebels CEO Baden Stephenson hailed the signing, saying Genia will add plenty to a Melbourne side which struggled badly in 2017.
“Will is a proven winner who has performed consistently in every team has has played in at Super Rugby, European and international level,” Stephenson said.
“We are delighted he will join the Rebels and have great confidence that his skill set, experience and leadership will complement our squad very well.”
Before he links up with his new teammates, Genia will first hope to play a major role in Australia’s busy Test schedule, with the Wallabies’ first Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup Test of the year to take place this Saturday, against the All Blacks in Sydney.