Genia trades Reds for the Force
April 28, 2012
Will Genia sprints away for the title-winning score last year © Getty Images
The Reds have announced that Wallabies scrum-half Will Genia has opted to swap the current Super Rugby champions for the Western Force next season but the Perth-based franchise have since denied that any such deal has been done.
Genia, 24, is an integral part of the Reds' armoury and scored the Reds' Super Rugby title-winning try in the 2011 final victory over the Crusaders at Suncorp Stadium. He has since started every match of the 2012 season but the Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) issued a statement earlier today stating that he has chosen to move on at the end of the current campaign.
"I believe Queensland Rugby made the best offer we could to retain Will's services in Queensland, however the opportunity presented to head West was ultimately more appealing to Will," said QRU CEO Jim Carmichael. "We wish Will all the best next year at the Force and thank him for all his has given to the Reds and Queensland Rugby during throughout the last six seasons."
However, the Force were quick to clarify that Genia, who has also been linked with Premiership side Bath, had not put pen to paper on a contract with the make-up of his new Australian Rugby Union deal thought to be the only issue still to be resolved.
"All I can say is that we have spoken to Will Genia's manager and other players' managers about recruitment in the past couple of weeks," said Rugby WA chief executive Vern Reid. "Nothing has been finalised, I'm certainly not in a position where I'm going to make any announcements about Will or any other player.
"It's mystifying (the statement by the Reds) simply because no details have been finalised. "We're speaking to a number of players and are clearly looking to strengthen our inside backs."
The Force lost star back James O'Connor to the Rebels last year and are believed to have money to spend on recruiting some top talent. Flanker David Pocock is reportedly on the verge of agreeing a new deal to keep him at the Force and Genia's signing will go some way to show their ambition.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton
Kiwi coaches can be found far and wide across the globe, and Murray Mexted believes the All Blacks benefit every bit as much as their rivals
Clermont, Toulon, player burnout, Sam Burgess and a farewell to Adams Park - Monday Maul looks back at the weekend's action