Wallaby scrum-half Will Genia has credited his two-match absence from the starting line-up with improving his game
Wallaby scrum-half Will Genia has credited his two-match absence from the starting line-up with improving his game.
Though widely regarded as the world's top number nine when in top form, he was benched in favour of Nic White for Australia's recent clashes with Argentina in Perth and South Africa in Cape Town.
He returns to the starting XV for his side's tough fixture against the Pumas in Rosario on Saturday, after an impressive second-half cameo at Newlands last week.
And the 25-year-old says the time he spent on the sidelines forced him to work hard on bettering himself, and regaining pole position in the race for a test-match start.
“You can go one of two ways. You can sook and drop your bundle and lose the plot, or you can work hard and give yourself every opportunity to play well in whatever chance you have,” Genia told AAP.
“That's the path I took and I was fortunate enough to get 40 minutes at the weekend.
“Now I am lucky enough to be back starting.”
Genia also claims that the three-test June series with the touring British and Irish Lions was mentally draining for the Wallabies, coming as it did with the Rugby Championship just around the corner.
“It is not an excuse but people should understand, mentally, it was huge,” he said
“You just invest so much into it.
“It's once every 12 years; there's so much pressure; it's incredibly intense.
“When we finally finished, it was almost like the year was over. It was that sort of feeling – the year is done now you can have a rest but it's not because you go straight back into Super Rugby and then you have the Rugby Championship.”
Coach Ewen McKenzie restored his illustrious scrum-half to the starting berth for the crucial battle in Rosario, which will be played out in front of a sell-out home crowd at Estadio Gigante de Arroyito.
With the Pumas chasing a first Championship victory, and the Wallabies know that defeat can mean they finish bottom of the tournament table.
McKenzie states that is not a factor he and his side he have conversed over in the build-up, however.
“There's not much point in filling (the players') heads with the negatives,” said McKenzie.
“We look at this as an opportunity to beat Argentina here.
“This hasn't been an easy place for Australia to play ever, so you concentrate on that bit instead of worrying about the what-ifs or the negatives.”