Genia backs Cooper for Wallabies
May 7, 2013
Quade Cooper has been endorsed by his Queensland team-mate Will Genia to resume national duty © Getty Images
As the Wallabies coach sifts through his No.10 options ahead of the British and Irish Lions series, Genia pushed his Queensland Reds teammate Cooper's cause ahead of Friday night's Super Rugby clash with the Sharks at Suncorp Stadium.
Cooper faces stiff opposition with the likes of Matt Toomua, Christian Lealiifano, James O'Connor and Kurtley Beale also vying for the chance to partner Genia in the Wallabies halves.
While Genia admitted he was frustrated by the Reds' "stuttering" attack, he all but endorsed Cooper as his right hand man for the Lions series which starts on their home ground Suncorp Stadium on June 22.
"I love playing with Quade. I don't feel as comfortable [with anyone else] as I do with him," Genia said on Tuesday. "We've got a long relationship. We've played together for a long time - I really enjoy that combination. More than anything it is a trust thing. In whatever decision each makes we back and support each other."
Cooper - who was fined last year for his "toxic" comments about the Wallabies camp under Deans - was at his diplomatic best when asked about Wallabies selection on Tuesday.
"It all depends on what the coach and the selectors are looking for," Cooper said. "Personally I am doing my best to work with Will, get the best out of each other and the Reds - I am not looking further than that."
Australia are due to name their squad on May 19 before the Lions begin their 10-match tour against the Barbarians in Hong Kong on June 1.
Genia was keen to remind selectors just what the Reds halves could do together before then. Queensland may have the table-topping Brumbies in their sights - trailing by two points - but Genia was still a frustrated man.
"Our attack is stuttering a bit and we haven't scored as many tries as we would have liked," Genia said. "We have had mountains of possession and we are not able to convert them into points - that's a big focus for us this week."
"We need to vary the way we play. At the moment we are doing the same thing over and over again - it's not like us," Genia added. "We have a lot of strings to our bow. It's about bringing them all out in a particular game."