Wallabies halfback Will Genia has received praise from another Australian rugby legend ahead of his 100th test match.
World Cup-winning captain and fellow halfback Nick Farr-Jones spoke highly of Genia in an interview with Fox Sports.
“I just hope he steps up on the day, and what better stage than Twickenham to play 100 Tests,” Farr-Jones said.
“I’m sure the English fans — and they will be 95 per cent English fans, it’ll be a full house — I’m sure that they will recognise what a great player he’s been over such a long time and will give him a fitting ovation when he takes the field.”
Genia will become the tenth Australian to reach the 100-Test milestone this weekend.
The 30-year-old made his debut for the national side almost a decade ago in 2009.
“I just think he’s one of those players who’s had great longevity,” Farr-Jones said.
“Not only great longevity, but he’s played consistently well.
“He’s become one of our most penetrative attackers and one of the best decision makers.”
As a fellow halfback, Farr-Jones – who represented Australia 63 times between 1984 and 1993 – was quick to identify exactly what Genia brings to the side.
“The No 9, it’s a critical position because your judgment generally gets you possession and his judgment with the possession — whether he goes the short side, his communication, whether he puts up a box kick, all those sorts of things — has been fantastic, and I put that down to confidence which gives him lateral vision and his judgment’s been fantastic.”
Farr-Jones also backed Genia’s adaptability, especially given Michael Cheika’s chopping and changing of his halves partner. Genia has recently provided service for Bernard Foley, Kurtley Beale and Matt Toomua.
“It can’t be helpful but then again these guys are professional players,” Farr-Jones said.
“They get to spend a lot of time on the training paddock and it really is about communication.
“It is critical that your No 10 lets you know where he wants it, when he wants it, how quickly he wants it and I’m assuming that at this level of the game all of those players that you mentioned [Foley, Beale and Toomua] would be good communicators.
“But they all are different, there’s no doubt about that.
“I was a bit lucky in my 10 years, I started with Mark Ella and Mark just said: ‘you do the chucking, I’ll do the catching.’
“For nine years I had Michael Lynagh, so I knew exactly what Michael wanted, where he wanted it, so it was easy for me.
“Genia’s had a whole string of No 10s and it seems to have worked very well for him as a No 9, and you put down that down to his class and the hard work that he’s obviously done.”
The Wallabies conclude their 2018 campaign at Twickenham on Saturday.
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