Genia tipped to be dropped to bench
September 10, 2013
Will Genia (above) may be replaced by Nic White © Getty Images
Scrum-half Will Genia is set to be benched and replaced as Wallabies skipper by No.8 Ben Mowen for Saturday's Test against Argentina, according to rugby analyst and former Wallabies player Greg Martin.
The Wallabies have failed to fire in three losses since Ewen McKenzie took over as coach, with the team copping plenty of heat following last week's 38-12 belting by South Africa in Brisbane. Often referred to as the world's best scrum-half, Genia has struggled to produce his best form in the six Tests this year, apart from the odd moment of individual brilliance. Clearly frustrated at his team's error rate, McKenzie faces some big calls for Saturday's clash with the Pumas in Perth.
Martin hinted at some inside knowledge on Tuesday as he declared captain Genia would be dumped in favour of Brumbies halfback Nic White when the team is announced on Wednesday. And with regular skipper James Horwill still nursing a hamstring injury, Brumbies skipper Mowen could be in line to captain the side.
"He (McKenzie) talked about dumbing things down - maybe they're playing too complex a game plan," Martin told The Grill Team on Triple M radio. "They've got a Test in Perth against Argentina on Saturday night - they will be dropping Will Genia to the bench and replacing him with Nic White. Ben Mowen, playing No.8, will become the new captain of the Wallabies."
Genia's halves partner Quade Cooper is also under pressure after an indifferent performance on his long-awaited return to the starting No.10 role against the Springboks.
Greg Growden assesses the Brisbane performance%]
"No word on Quade Cooper, but they're thinking about getting rid of him and putting Toomua back at five-eighth," Martin said.
That could produce an all-Brumbies inside back contingent of White, Toomua and inside-centre Christian Leali'ifano.
A loss to Argentina on home soil would be calamitous for the Wallabies, whose losing run is costing them fans in the crowded Australian sporting market.
Munster, No.8s, the imploding Australians, wonderful Glasgow and Lancaster's dilemma - it is Monday Maul time
As Ewen McKenzie exits stage left, the ARU remains under huge pressure, with CEO Bill Pulver feeling the brunt of Australian rugby's displeasure, Greg Growden writes
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the remarkable events in Brisbane and the first round of the European Rugby Champions Cup
Following Saturday's shock announcement, we look at the highs and the lows of Ewen McKenzie's brief stint as Wallabies coach.