Genia backflips to stay with Reds
April 30, 2012
Will Genia will play on with the Queensland Reds © Getty Images
Wallabies scrum-half Will Genia has made a surprise backflip to re-sign with Super Rugby outfit the Queensland Reds for a further three years.
The Reds announced on Saturday that Genia had agreed to leave the club in order to join the Western Force. However, in a bizarre turn of events, Genia changed his mind over the course of the weekend and called a press conference on Monday morning to explain that he had penned a new deal to remain in Brisbane.
"I made my mind up, I changed my mind several times, but if I'm going to be honest the reason I've decided to stay is because after that game against the Blues (last Friday night)," Genia said.
"The feeling of satisfaction and pride in a good performance and that win was an amazing feeling because we all put so much work into building the group to where we want to be.
"It was just a scary thought to think that I may not feel that way about playing for another club. And singing the team song in the change rooms afterwards ... to think I wouldn't have that opportunity again next year was a scary thought.
"I've got too many good relationships here, I love the place, I wake up every morning looking forward to coming to training and that's too hard to give away."
The decision leaves both clubs with red faces, with the Force desperately seeking a high-profile signing with the future of Wallabies flanker David Pocock still unclear. Meanwhile, Queensland Rugby evidently sent out a press release prematurely in which CEO Jim Carmichael bid Genia farewell just two days prior to announcing his re-signing.
Genia also told coach Ewen McKenzie he planned on joining the Force next season before turning his back on a two-year contract believed to be worth AU$600,000 per year. "Ewen asked me after the game on Friday whether I was going to be staying with the Reds and I told him I was going to join the Western Force.
"When I considered my options over the weekend, I realised it didn't really sit well with me and my heart was in Queensland and that's where I want to play my rugby," said Genia.
The Force were also quick to put the matter to be with Rugby WA chief executive Vern Reid commenting: "It needs to be made very clear that the Western Force did not 'leak' information in regards to discussions with Will Genia, nor did we claim at any stage that he had agreed to come to Perth.
"What we did do was put our best offer forward to Will's management and were advised last Thursday evening that the offer was accepted. We moved things forward, all the while paying respect to the recruiting protocols that are in place for all franchises by keeping that information confidential.
"We were as surprised as anyone by the Queensland Rugby Union's statement on Saturday evening farewelling Will and naming the Emirates Western Force as the club he had agreed to move to.
"While we respect that Will has changed his mind, and had the right to do so, we are obviously disappointed following a verbal agreement a few days earlier and the promise of the paperwork to be signed and returned over the weekend following his arrival back from New Zealand."
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