Genia backs Barnes at fly-half
August 13, 2012
Berrick Barnes has the support of Will Genia © Getty Images
The Waratahs playmaker took a starring role in the Wallabies' June victories over a strong Wales side but faces stern competition at No.10 from a fit-again Quade Cooper.
Cooper has not played a Test since picking up a serious knee injury during the Rugby World Cup, having made his comeback for the Reds towards the tail of the Super Rugby season, and recently turned out in Brisbane club rugby to build his match-fitness.
"Quadey has done a lot of work in terms of getting his body right and I think he is fit, he is ready to go," Genia said. "It's just a matter of whether you'd be willing, I guess, to put him into a Test match straight up and play 80 minutes against the All Blacks.
"I think that's more a call for Robbie [Deans] than anyone else. From a player's point of view, it would be obviously great having him there, but Barnesy did a great job against Wales and in all fairness, I guess, probably deserves first crack at that No.10 jersey."
The Wallabies are expected to bring in two new faces for Saturday's tournament opener in Sydney, with Waratahs back-row Dave Dennis a likely replacement for the injured Wycliff Palu and Anthony Faingaa in line to run on in place of Pat McCabe.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin
With the World Cup only a few months away, the last thing France needed was doubts over the future of their coach, writes Huw Richards
They came to Murrayfield looking to put down a marker, but Scotland were sent home with their tails between their legs, writes Tristan Barclay
The controversial tackling technique will be in full swing in Dublin on Sunday, writes Conor O'Shea, and could be a decisive factor for Ireland