Victorious Reds dominate Wallabies squad - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Victorious Reds dominate Wallabies squad

By Jim Morton 10/07/2011 05:52:20 PM Comments (0)

Title-clincher Will Genia wants to be Australian rugby's ironman and play through the entire international season after barely having a moment's rest with the Queensland Reds.

Genia secured the Reds' first-ever Super Rugby crown when he scored the match-winning individual try in Saturday night's 18-13 triumph over the Crusaders and may have to back up immediately for the Wallabies next Sunday (July 17).

Back-up No.9 Luke Burgess continues to recover from a broken hand, leaving Genia and uncapped Melbourne Rebel Nick Phipps as the only two fit halfbacks in the Wallabies 40-man squad.

Coach Robbie Deans on Sunday would not rule out selecting Queensland players against Samoa despite the fact they would join his camp a day late after a Monday parade in Brisbane.

Deans, who selected a total of 15 Reds, knew Genia and playmaker Quade Cooper were keen for Test action despite being involved in all 18 Super Rugby matches since February 20.

"They won't want the week off," Deans said.

Both played all but 10 minutes of the Reds' campaign and the best they can hope for is a week off before the Tri Nations starts with the July 23 Test against South Africa in Sydney.

So integral to the Wallabies, Genia and Cooper are sure to start all Tri Nations matches, ending with the August 27 clash against the All Blacks in Brisbane - just two weeks before the World Cup kicks off in New Zealand.

Genia confirmed he didn't want to rest from any match, although Phipps is likely to start against the Samoans in Sydney, meaning he can sit on the bench.

"I can (play through) but it's not my decision," he said. "I'm happy to fit in wherever.

"It will be good to have a little bit of time off. We've got today and tomorrow off and the rest of the players assemble in camp today so we have one day off."

Australia's plan to field their best team, in a bid to win their first Tri Nations since 2001 and first Bledisloe Cup since 2002, is in stark contrast to that of South Africa.

The Springboks ruled out 23 of their best players before naming a 27-man Tri Nations squad on the weekend to the disappointment of the Australian Rugby Union.

ARU boss John O'Neill has left the issue in the hands of governing body SANZAR after the South African Rugby Union sent medical statements from their team doctor to show the legitimacy of their decision.

"Twenty-three is an unusually large number of injured players but at the end of the day we have a joint venture with South Africa and the New Zealanders and we have to trust each other," he said. "We're concentrating on the Wallabies.

"We want to win both (the Tri Nations and Bledisloe Cup) and we want go to NZ, on the back of last night, with some momentum and I would be hopeful we'll carry that through to the World Cup."

Fiji-born Radike Samo, who celebrated his 35th birthday with a Super Rugby title, was the most remarkable squad selection, reactivated along with Melbourne Rebels utility back Mark Gerrard.

NSW Test backs Drew Mitchell, Rob Horne and Berrick Barnes, and Western Force No.8 Richard Brown were all left out due to injuries but Deans said they still remained in World Cup contention.

Injury-riddled Rocky Elsom retained the captaincy as expected despite playing only one match for the Brumbies while former skippers Stirling Mortlock and Phil Waugh were overlooked, killing off their World Cup hopes.

The Wallabies will announce their 30-man squad for the tournament on August 18.

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