Genia cited the 'pride' that he feels when playing for Queensland Reds as the driving factor behind his decision to recommit. Genia admitted, "It was just a scary thought that I might not feel that way about playing for another club. And singing the team song in the change room afterwards, to think that I wouldn't have that opportunity again next year was a scary thought. I've got to many good relationships here. I love the place."
Some reports suggested that the Force's offer was a staggering $600,000 a season and while Genia admitted the money held appeal, he said he wanted to play where he was happy. "The financial gain to move to Perth was quite significant but it's not about money," he said. "I genuinely love playing with the guys that are my teammates and love wearing the red jersey."
The Reds have a number of players coming off-contract including Genia's scrum base partner and Wallabies fly half Quade Cooper. Cooper heads the lengthy list which also includes Wallabies back rower Scott Higginbotham, explosive centre Ben Tapuai, as well as Rod Davies, James Hanson, Mike Harris, Dom Shipperley and former Wallaby Greg Holmes. The Red will be hoping they can retain all their stars, but none more so than Cooper who formed a lethal combination last year with Genia to lead the Reds to the Super 15 title.
Coach Ewen McKenzie was relieved to have Genia locked away until the end of 2015 and was hoping that Genia's re-signing would influence the other off-contract players to jump on board as well. "This is a major plank for us to have tucked away so I'm pleased about that. That says a statement about what he thinks and that also might help some other guys make a decision."
The re-signing of Will Genia is a major victory for the Reds not only because of his silky skills and leadership qualities but also because it signals the end of many dark years where the Reds developed talented youngsters into world class players only to see them leave the franchise for greener pastures interstate and overseas. Will Genia is part of the new breed of Queensland players that love the Red jersey and are willing to make sacrifices to wear it. Now Ewen McKenzie and Will Genia will be hoping that Quade and co. feel the same.
Adam Schoenmaker is a high school chaplain in the northern suburbs of Brisbane for three days each week and serves two days a week in his local church. Adam loves a good book, a classic album and all Queensland sporting teams.
Adam Schoenmaker archive of articles can be viewed at (www.pressserviceinternational.org/adam-schoenmaker.html)