Tuesday 25 October 2016

Will Genia to join Stade Francais from Queensland Reds after World Cup

Ian Madigan, Ireland, is tackled by Will Genia, Australia
Ian Madigan, Ireland, is tackled by Will Genia, Australia

Australia scrumhalf Will Genia will join Stade Francais from Queensland Reds after the World Cup in October but the French side's decision to announce the move early has angered his current employers.

Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) Chief Executive Jim Carmichael said he and the 27-year-old had not expected Stade President Thomas Savare to reveal the move to a French radio station.

"Although Will and I confirmed this decision some time ago, he had made it clear to us that he didn't want anything to disrupt his final season with the Reds and his team mates," Carmichael was quoted as saying by AAP on Friday.

"As a consequence, the QRU is extremely disappointed that the comments made in France overnight have denied a player of Will's standing ... the opportunity to inform his team mates, supporters and the admirers he has throughout Australian Rugby in the appropriate fashion."

Genia, who has previously captained the Wallabies and led the Reds to the Super Rugby title in 2011, had looked set to move to Australian Conference rivals Western Force in 2012 only to change his mind and re-sign with the Brisbane-based side.

But he has not enjoyed the same success since, with injuries hampering his play and Nick Phipps frequently getting the Wallabies starting berth ahead of him.

Papua New Guinea-born Genia, capped 58 times by the Wallabies, said the birth of his first child had been a big factor in his decision to move away from Australia, which will put his international career on hold.

"Having our first baby, Olivia, has changed my perspective and (my wife) Vanessa and I decided we wanted to experience life in a different part of the world," he said.

"I'm thankful for the opportunities the Reds and the broader game of rugby have given me but, at this stage of my career, I decided that it was the right time to make the move."

The struggling Reds, who will see another of their Wallaby skippers in lock James Horwill move to Europe after the World Cup, face the Melbourne Rebels later on Friday eyeing only their second win of the campaign.

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