Will Genia

Will Genia
Will Genia at 2011 Rugby World Cup
Full name Sanchez William Genia[1][2]
Date of birth (1988-01-17) 17 January 1988
Place of birth Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Height 174 cm (5 ft 9 in)[1]
Weight 82 kg (12 st 13 lb)[3]
School Brisbane Boys' College
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Scrum-half
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
Ballymore Tornadoes
Brisbane City
Stade Français
Super Rugby
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2007–15 Reds 114 (90)
correct as of 14 June 2015.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
Australia U-20
Australia U-19
Australia 'A' Schoolboys
75 (50)
correct as of 26 November 2016.
Genia before World Cup match against USA.

Will Genia (born 17 January 1988) is a Papua New Guinean-born, Australian rugby union player. He plays scrum-half for Stade Francais in the Top 14 competition and for Australia.[3]

Sometimes compared to former Australian halfback George Gregan,[4][5] Genia is pound for pound one of the strongest players in the Wallabies team, able to bench press 172 kg.[6][7]

In 2013, former All Black scrum-half Justin Marshall said that Genia was the "best in the world for his position".[8]

Family and early life

Genia was born in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. He was introduced to rugby union when he moved to Brisbane, Australia at the age of 12 for his secondary education at Brisbane Boys' College, boarding at the school from 2000 to 2005.[2][9] Genia played rugby for the Australia 'A' Schoolboys team in 2005,[10] and was part of the Australian Under 19 rugby team that won the IRB World Championship in 2006.[11]

Genia's Papua New Guinean father, Kilroy Genia, is a former Cabinet Minister in the Papua New Guinean government. His Australian mother, Elizabeth Genia, was appointed assistant governor at the Bank of Papua New Guinea in 2011.[2] His older brother, Frankie Genia, plays international rugby for the PNG Pukpuks.[1][9]

Rugby union career

Genia was recruited to the Queensland Reds from the GPS club at the end of 2006 before their tour to Japan and obtained his first state cap for the Reds playing against Japan.[12][13]

2007 to 2010

Genia made his Super 14 debut for the Reds as a 19-year-old against the Hurricanes at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on 3 February 2007. He shared the scrum half position with starting halfback Nic Berry for most of the season, appearing in 11 of 13 matches for the Reds during the season.[14] Later in 2007, Genia played for the Ballymore Tornadoes in the Australian Rugby Championship, appearing in all 8 games played by the team for the year.[14]

In 2008, Genia added a further seven Super Rugby Caps (although only one starting) for the Reds. He was selected as the first choice scrumhalf for the Australian Under 20 team for the 2008 IRB Junior World Cup in Wales.[12]

He played in eight Super Rugby matches in 2009, half of which were starting appearances, and scored four tries during the tournament but missed Queensland's final two matches of the season due to an injured finger tendon.[12]

Genia was selected in the Wallabies squad for the 2009 Tri Nations and made his test debut against the All Blacks at Eden Park in Auckland on 18 July 2009. He came off the bench in the first four matches before getting starting berths against the Springboks in Brisbane, and against the All Blacks in Wellington.[1][12] Genia then started in all five Tests of Australia's Spring Tour of Japan and Europe, before staying on at the tour's end to help the Barbarians beat the All Blacks at Twickenham.[12]

In 2010, Genia captained the Reds, after regular captain James Horwill suffered an injury in the second match of the season. At the end of the season Genia was voted by his teammates as the 2010 players' player of the year and he won the Pilecki Medal. He was also voted the fans' player of the year, winning the People's Choice award.[3]

2011 to present

Genia won the Pilecki Medal again in 2011, and was voted the Australian Super Rugby Player of the Year by Australian rugby writers.[15] He became the 78th Test captain of the Wallabies when he led the side against the United States at the 2011 Rugby World Cup. He was one of two Australian nominees, alongside David Pocock, for the 2011 IRB Player of the Year award.[12]

In April 2012, he signed a new three-year deal with the Reds after turning down a lucrative offer from the Force.[16] In early September Genia suffered a knee injury in Australia's win over South Africa. Genia missed eight Tests in a row and didn’t expect to return to domestic action until the Reds play the Bulls in Brisbane on 23 March 2013.[17]

It was rumoured that Genia was leaving Australia after the 2015 Rugby World Cup, possibly going to the English Club Bath,[18][19] but he left Australia at the start of the 2015-16 season to play for Stade Français.

Life outside rugby

Genia is an ambassador for The Kokoda Track Foundation.[20]


Queensland Reds

Reference list

  1. 1 2 3 4 "Will Genia ARU profile". ARU. Archived from the original on 22 June 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  2. 1 2 3 Robinson, Georgina (14 April 2012). "Genesis of the Genia greatness". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax. Archived from the original on 17 April 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  3. 1 2 3 "Will Genia Reds profile". QRU. Archived from the original on 25 January 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  4. Smith, Wayne (27 February 2010). "The Little General George Gregan anoints Genia". The Australian. News. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  5. "Gregan rates Will Genia a superstar". Fairfax. 1 April 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  6. Tucker, Jim (19 November 2009). "Will Genia more interested in letting his rugby, not his mouth, talk for him". Courier-Mail. News. Retrieved 31 October 2010.
  7. "Wallabies halfback Will Genia uncomfortable with George Gregan comparison". Courier Mail. News. 18 November 2009. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  8. Tucker, Jim (18 October 2013). "Will Genia would be only Wallabies player to make Anzac XV at the moment Justin Marshall says". The Courier-Mail. Archived from the original on 11 August 2014.
  9. 1 2 Mairs, Gavin (6 November 2009). "Australia scrum-half Will Genia burns with desire to beat arch-enemy England". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Archived from the original on 29 April 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  10. Brave and Game (2010). "Nurseries of Australian Schoolboys' Rugby" (pdf). Australian Schools Rugby Union. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  11. Rakic, Josh (18 July 2010). "'We're not part of the old losing culture'". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Will Genia 2010 Career Timeline". ARU. Archived from the original on 21 March 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  13. "Queensland Rugby Annual Report 2006". p. 24. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
  14. 1 2 "Queensland Rugby Annual Report 2007". pp. 20–22. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
  15. "Reds clean up at Australia's Super Rugby annual awards". ARU. 23 June 2011. Archived from the original on 3 February 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
  16. "Reds, not Force for Genia". TVNZ. AAP. 30 April 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  17. Heywood, Marc (19 December 2012). "Genia ready for 'amazing' Lions" (Press release). Lions. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  18. Bath: Post-Rugby World Cup signings already made, says owner BBC. 10 July 2014.
  19. Bath make post-World Cup signings ESPN. 10 July 2014.
  20. Ambassador: Will Genia Kokoda Track Foundation. 2012.
Preceded by
James Horwill
Australian national rugby union captain
Succeeded by
David Pocock
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