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Genia confident of Wallabies return

By Adrian Warren 12/07/2010 06:56:43 PM Comments (0)

Wallabies halfback Will Genia is confident of playing in Australia's opening Tri-Nations clash with South Africa in Brisbane and says New Zealand have given his team a blueprint on how to beat the world champion Springboks.

Genia missed Australia's most recent Test against Ireland after suffering a fractured right thumb.

The livewire Queenslander had two pins removed from the thumb on Monday before arriving in Sydney for the first training session of the Wallabies' latest camp.

Genia caught and passed the ball with no discomfort and gave his thumb a further workout by shaking the hands of journalists before and after his press conference.

"It (the thumb) feels good. I was probably a little bit hesitant where I was trying to touch blokes two-handed, so I was putting shoulders on," Genia told reporters.

"But in terms of passing and catching everything is 100 per cent.

"The specialist said it (the thumb) is 100 per cent, so I'm looking forward to training this week and getting a game in this weekend with my club Norths back in Brisbane."

Genia said he would wear a protective splint for a couple of weeks and was adamant his fitness hadn't suffered while his thumb was healing.

"I've been working hard this last three weeks, running every day and busting my gut, so I know I will be good," Genia said.

He said his specialist had told him playing against South Africa on July 24 was a realistic goal.

Winger Digby Ioane expects to miss the Brisbane game, but hopes to be available for the match against New Zealand at Melbourne's Etihad Stadium the following Saturday.

Ioane was also injured in the second Test loss to England when he dislocated a shoulder trying to catch a high ball.

"When I did it I thought it was `game over', like four months with surgery," Ioane told reporters on Monday.

"Then when I got the scan it wasn't that bad.

"It was a similar injury (to Wallabies back rower) Richard Brown, so he came back in six weeks and that was my motivation to come back."

Both Genia and Wallabies' coach Robbie Deans were extremely impressed by New Zealand's performance in their 32-12 drubbing of South Africa in the Tri-Nations series opener in Auckland last Saturday.

Genia said he felt New Zealand beat South Africa at their own aggressive physical style of play.

"They nullified to an extent the Springboks' tactics of kicking and a good chase line and they just bashed them, they were physical for 80 minutes, they didn't let up," Genia said.

"We need to step up and match it with these blokes. The All Blacks probably gave us a good lesson in how to beat them.

"You've got to match their physicality and beat them at their own game."

Deans thought several factors contributed to New Zealand's display including their desire to avenge their losses in all three matches against South Africa last year.

"It was pretty complete wasn't it," Deans told reporters.

"They laid in wait essentially, they had done their homework".

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