Star Melbourne scrum half Will Genia can’t wait to return to the Rebels starting line-up after being rested against the Sharks last Saturday.
The Wallabies halve sat out the Rebels 28-14 loss to the Sharks, along with winger Marika Koroibete, lock Adam Coleman and Centre Isi Naisarani as part of Michael Cheika’s rotation policy ahead of the 2019 World Cup.
While Genia admits it was frustrating to watch the Rebels lose from afar, the play maker believes it’s important for both Rugby Australia and the Club to work together to achieve the best possible outcomes for both parties.
And on a more personal level, Genia says the week off has allowed him to both mentally and physically refresh himself ahead of an important Australian Conference match with the Queensland Reds.
“It was obviously disappointing we had a loss, but it was one of those things where as a Club and Rugby Australia, we’ve got to work in tandem to get the best possible outcome in terms of resting players, so we’ve just got to buy into that,” Genia said.
“It was huge for me to get back from a Strength and Conditioning perspective and also freshen up mentally as well, I’m just jumping out of my skin and I can’t wait to play.”
The Melburnians have returned from their two week long South African tour without a victory, after suffering a heartbreaking three-point loss to the Lions in Johannesburg and a disappointing 14-point loss to the Sharks in Durban.
While the Rebels will enter Saturday night’s match having lost their past two matches, Genia says the confidence in the team is still strong, with the whole squad believing they are a capable of putting strong performances together.
“It’s been said in our group that we are a good team, we just had bad performances,” Genia said.
“Looking back on those games, I thought we played really well for probably 50-60 minutes against the Lions and we let ourselves down towards the end and we didn’t perform as well against the Sharks.”
“From a personal perspective and I know it’s the feeling within the group, we’re a good team and we haven’t lost our confidence whatsoever.”
The Melburnians will need to be prepared for a fired-up Reds side who claimed a 36-14 win over the Brumbies last week and will look to spoil the return of 2011 Super Rugby Champion halves duo of Genia and Quade Cooper to Suncorp Stadium.
While Genia admits the return to Brisbane with Cooper may be sentimental, the 31-year-old says his mind will be firmly focussed on getting the Rebels’ a much-needed win.
“It’s obviously a place which has had a lot of good memories personally being part of a winning Reds team,” Genia said.
“But that chapter’s closed and it’s all about working hard to get a result for this Club and this organisation and the group.”
“I’m looking forward to it.”