No free passage for Genia – McKenzie

Date published: September 30 2013

Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie insisted that Will Genia is not guaranteed a starting berth for Saturday's clash against Argentina.

Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie insisted that Will Genia is not guaranteed a starting berth for Saturday's clash against Argentina in Rosario.

Still undecided about the game plan his men would use against Argentina, who are proving to be fierce contenders on home soil, McKenzie hinted that he would again mix things up as his men look to avoid the wooden spoon.

Genia, a former Wallabies captain, warmed the bench during the team's loss in Cape Town last week and failed to make an impact when he took to the field during the second half of the contest.

“You saw against the Springboks two halves of footy; a kicking half and a running half,” McKenzie told AAP.

“Clearly if we're playing running footy Will's our best exponent, but Whitey (Nic White) is with our kicking game so it depends on how we want to pitch the game.

“We looked more comfortable running the ball in the second half but the ideal game is when you've got variety in your game.”

While White's kicking game failed to put the hosts under pressure in the first-half, the Wallabies failed to respond when they were bombarded with the high ball in the last 40 minutes of the match.

Despite the improvement on attack, when Genia joined fellow playmaker Quade Cooper, Australia still only managed to add five points to the three they scored when White was calling the shots.

Heading into the clash against Argentina, McKenzie admitted that the experience a player like Genia brings to the team would be important, but that none of that would matter if his decision making is not spot on.

“Everyone knows the capability of Will,” the coach added.

“I know it better than anyone after coaching him in plenty of games.

“Still, you've got to make decisions on what's going on at that point of time.”

McKenzie, who has now lost four matches since taking over from Robbie Deans, said that he would not be making wholesale changes to his team and continued to back his men who have only a solitary Rugby Championship win to show for their efforts.

“Tell me who the other people are who are going to break the game open and suddenly give us the silver bullet?

“I think we've got the best players available.”

With only two-points separating Australia and Argentina in the log standings – the Wallabies have accumulated four points from their win in Perth while the Pumas picked up two bonus points – another loss by McKenzie's men would signal a low point in Australia's recent rugby history.

He said that, despite not having had the chance to see the footage of the superb showing the Pumas delivered against the All Blacks, his men are expecting a forwards based assault on Saturday and are preparing in accordance.

“It's the Latin mentality that scrummaging's very personal and there's a lot of prestige and pride that goes with that,” he said.

“There's not one team that says going to Argentina and playing there is an easy task.”