Genia gets the nod as Reds' new skipper - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Genia gets the nod as Reds' new skipper

By Jim Morton 22/02/2010 04:21:51 PM Comments (0)

Boom Wallabies halfback Will Genia has voiced both surprise and excitement at becoming the Reds' youngest skipper since a 21-year-old Mark Loane led Queensland 35 years ago.

Genia, 22, has been given the captaincy duties following a horrific season-ending knee injury to lock James Horwill.

Horwill was only 22 himself when given the Reds leadership responsibilities two years ago but Brisbane Boys College school-mate Genia will be 10 months younger when he leads Queensland against the Blues onto Balllymore on Saturday night.

Despite being vice-captain, Genia expected veteran hooker Sean Hardman, Wallabies flyer Peter Hynes or seasoned lock Van Humphries to be preferred as skipper by coach Ewen McKenzie.

"It's an honour and a privilege to be named captain of the Queensland Reds for this season," the 11-Test half said at Ballymore on Monday.

"I was told I was going to be vice-captain a couple of weeks before the season started and even then I thought someone else would have got the nod as captain before I did, so definitely surprised.

"But I'm definitely excited about the extra responsibilities and challenges that come with the role.

"I've got a lot of older guys and older heads to support me and I know they will do that.

"We've got guys like Sean Hardman and Peter Hynes and Van Humphries who say a lot and have a lot to do with decisions off the field."

Hardman, Hynes and Humphries, to return from a head knock to replace Horwill in the second-row, are the only Reds players to have experienced Super rugby at Ballymore.

Queensland shifted their home matches to Suncorp Stadium in 2006 and Genia said all the team were excited about playing the Blues at their own spiritual home.

"It's a sacred place for Queensland rugby and Queensland rugby's home so to come back and lead the boys out this week is a really big thing," said Genia, a Wallabies revelation for Robbie Deans in 2009.

Genia's rise has been so meteoric that he was Queensland's back-up No.9 this time last year before unseating Ben Lucas for the Reds and Luke Burgess for Australia.

The Reds, 41-20 upset victors over the Crusaders on Friday night, are looking to achieve their first back-to-back success in five years, which coincidentally was the last two Super 12 games they played at Ballymore, beating South Africa's Sharks and Cats.

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