Genia and Cooper unite to set up finals tilt for Rebels
Melbourne Rebels scrumhalf Will Genia says it’s great to be back playing alongside new recruit Quade Cooper again.
Both players starred in Melbourne’s perfect start to the 2019 Super Rugby season after the Rebels defeated the Brumbies in Canberra 34-27 in their season opener.
The Rebels have never made the Super Rugby finals but if Genia and Cooper can find the sort of form which saw them form a lethal combination at the Queensland Reds in the past – then anything could be possible.
The dynamic duo led the Reds to the Super Rugby title over the Crusaders in 2011 with Genia scoring a try in the decider.
The 31-year-old says Cooper’s back playing where he belongs.
“It was great to be honest more as a mate just being back where he belongs playing at this level,” Genia said.
“He’s got so much to offer, so much ability, so much talent, it’s good to see him showcasing it at this level.
“Fingers crossed he has a consistent season and can be back to the level above as well.”
Cooper spent a long period in exile up north after Reds coach Brad Thorn refused to play him, despite being contracted on $600,000 a season.
Genia also revealed he had discussion with Rebels coach Dave Wessels and members of the leadership group about bringing Cooper down south.
“It was certainly a discussions that we’d had together as a leadership group,” Genia said.
“At the end of the day it’s Dave’s call, I guess he just sounded out some of our opinions and we were all very strong that he’d be someone that would make a huge difference to the club both on and off the field.
“I think Dave’s been really pleased with him impact so far this season.”
Cooper signed a one-year deal with the Melbourne-based club to join the likes of Matt Toomua and Hugh Roach as new recruits.
Genia has 124 Super Rugby caps and 100 Tests for the Wallabies.
The Rebels have the bye this week before hosting the Highlanders on March 1.
Click ‘play’ to hear the full interview below.