Dynamic duo itching to get back on field together
Returning Wallabies vice-captains Will Genia and Bernard Foley are keen to help get their tour of Britian off to the best possible start when they take on Wales.
were forced to make a number of late changes last week in Yokohama after Genia (calf), Foley (illness) and Karmichael Hunt (neck) were ruled out of the historic match against Japan.
Genia passed a fitness Test on Tuesday and returns as the Wallabies’ starting halfback for his 11th outing against Wales.
“It’s back to 100 per cent,” Genia said of his calf. “I’m just looking forward to playing on Saturday. It’s pretty tough when you have to sit back and watch training and then watch the games, but I just try and contribute as much as I could in a positive way to the guys who were playing.”
Foley was quarantined from teammates last week and probably could have played in Japan, but Wallabies medical staff decided to rest him before the three big fixtures against Wales, England and Scotland.
“It was shame to miss last week,” Foley said. “It was an historic occasion for the guys and it was tough to watch from the sidelines. When you miss a game you probably realise how special they all are.
“By the back-end of the week I was itching to go but they made the call and I just prepared myself for this weekend.”
Foley has resumed in his No.10 spot, which was briefly filled by Reece Hodge against Japan in a performance that proved he has what it takes as chief playmaker at international level.
“He’s definitely a contender for that spot,” Foley said. “I thought he showed great composure in how he managed the side and a guy who is more known for his ball running. He was able to distribute and play the guys around him really well.”
Foley has a new man outside him this weekend in Samu Kerevi, who scored two tries in Yokohama.
While Kerevi won’t have the same physical advantage over his opposite number Owen Williams, Genia hopes his roommate continues his damaging form.
“He got stuck in a cycle,” Genia said, “where he kept questioning everything, saying, ‘should I do that?’ I just told him, ‘If you’ve done the work, you don’t question yourself, just get out on the field and back yourself to make the right decision’.
“He went out there and just backed himself to carry hard and played to his strengths. He played very well.”