Wallabies recall Will Genia to face Pumas
October 3, 2013
Bernard Foley has been selected to make his Test deeut from the bench © Getty Images
Will Genia has been rewarded for his rousing second-half performance against the Springboks, the scrum-half recalled by Ewen Mckenzie to the Wallabies' starting side for The Rugby Championship Test against Argentina in Rosario on Saturday.
Genia, a replacement in Australia's past two Tests, has relegated Nic White to the bench. White is joined on the bench by New South Wales Waratahs playmaker Bernard Foley, who is in line to make his Test debut after replacing winger Chris Feauai-Sautia as the only other change to the squad.
The introduction of Genia at half-time in the Wallabies' 28-8 loss to South Africa in Cape Town triggered a significant improvement in their attack, and his selection signals Australia are planning to run the ball against the Pumas. That's good news for fullback Israel Folau, who said he felt much more comfortable playing that style than the field-position game they attempted in the first half against the Springboks.
Folau said that he felt starved of ball in the first half in Cape Town - and he had to kick away what ball he did receive under coach Ewen McKenzie's orders. He hoped he can make more of an impact in Rosario with Australia desperate to avoid the Rugby Championship wooden spoon.
"I was definitely not getting enough ball, but in the first half last week we had no possession at all," Folau said. "In the second half, we decided to run a lot more and got a little bit of ball … but I'd still like to get myself involved a lot more." Folau honed his kicking skills during his stint in AFL, but he said that running with ball in hand was "definitely my strength".
"Kicking's second to it but I've got find a balance in the both of them and when to use and and when not to."
Folau's finishing was his greatest attribute when he started his NRL career in 2007 at Melbourne Storm, with a high kick from Cooper Cronk into the in-goal area a go-to play that was a constant source of points. The Wallabies recognise that and plan to exploit it, if they can minimise their errors. "Some of the moves that we wanted to play last week were specifically set up for that but every time we set it up we'd get the ball turned over," Folau said. "It's frustrating because there's opportunities there, we've just got to take them."
Wallabies: Israel Folau; Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Lealiifano, Joe Tomane; Quade Cooper, Will Genia; Ben Mowen, Michael Hooper, Scott Fardy; James Horwill (captain), Rob Simmons; Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, James Slipper. Replacements: Saia Faingaa, Benn Robinson, Sekope Kepu, Sitaleki Timani, Ben McCalman, Nic White Matt Toomua, Bernard Foley.
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