James Horwill hails 50-Test Will Genia
October 19, 2013
Will Genia was back to his best on the front foot in Rosario © Getty Images
Nick Farr-Jones, George Gregan and Will Genia: the current Wallabies scrum-half will join an elite club during the third Bledisloe Cup Test against the All Blacks at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on Saturday, when he becomes just the third Australian No.9 to reach 50 Test caps.
Genia has captained the Wallabies, like the other two; but he differs from his predecessors in the jumper in that he's yet to win the Rugby World Cup. Regardless, current Wallabies captain James Horwill rates Genia among the greatest players he's ever played with.
"He's up there," Horwill said.
"He's a guy I've been lucky to know since I was 13. To see him from a little fat kid that we used to call 'Pooh Bear', to arguably the best halfback in the world is very exciting. No one would have imagined that he'd be playing for the Wallabies when he first turned up at Ballymore."
Horwill said that Genia had rebounded from his recent temporary dumping to the Wallabies bench for Nic White exactly the way a champion should. In his comeback run-on game against Argentina, Genia helped to orchestrate a record breaking 54-17 win in Rosario. "He was one of our best, on his front foot and never dropped his head," Horwill said. "He's responded in the appropriate way and that shows the measure of him."
Genia no doubt will accept the praise from his close friend, but the bulk of his attention remains on the match against the All Blacks following two disappointing losses in August as New Zealand retained the Bledisloe Cup for the 11th year in succession.
"It's obviously very humbling, something I am very proud to achieve, but to be honest, I'm concentrating more on getting a result for the group," Genia said.
Follow live text commentary of the Bledisloe Cup Test between New Zealand and Australia on Saturday, October 19 from 7pm (NZDT), 5pm (AEDT) and 6am (GMT)
James Horwill is confident his team can produce an improved performance in Dunedin
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter