Genia and Cooper have renewed confidence
October 31, 2013
Will Genia believes he and Quade Cooper are rediscovering their direction as a halves partnership © Getty Images
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Will Genia never lost faith that he and Quade Cooper would emerge from their rocky spell, and their past two performances together for the Wallabies suggest the spark is back in the combination that wowed world rugby in 2010 and 2011.
Critics wondered before the 54-16 rout of Argentina and the impressive display against the All Blacks in Dunedin if they'd seen the best of the Queensland Reds halves. The Reds struggled to average two tries a game in Super Rugby this year, and the pair's long-time coach Ewen McKenzie benched both during his first five Tests in charge. But Genia's belief in their union remained unshakeable, and he's buoyed by their form and chemistry heading into the tour-opener against England at Twickenham on Saturday.
"We hadn't played too much footy in the gold jersey for a while until the last two games," he said. "We scored points and I thought that spark was there, and that relationship is always really strong off the field and on the field. It's just good to be back playing with each other and playing with that rhythm, that confidence and momentum."
The onus is on Genia and Cooper to generate further momentum at Twickenham, where England loom as a tough assignment as Australia commence their quest for a second Grand Slam.
Genia, who had to overcome a knee reconstruction in 2012, a year after Cooper underwent similar surgery, said concerns they were a fading force were pure folly.
"It's just footy," he said. "Things are always going to happen where you get injured, you're going through a rough patch; you might need a break but you can't. But at the end of the day we love playing with each other, we enjoy playing with each other, and we look forward to it every single time."
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