Sydney - Australia have been dealt a blow ahead of the first
match of their November tour against Wales on Saturday after local media
reported that scrumhalf Will Genia would not be released by his French club for
The Millennium Stadium match falls outside the November
international window and Stade Francais were therefore under no obligation to
let Genia play for his country.
According to a report in Sydney's Daily Telegraph, Australia
coach Michael Cheika had requested Genia be released but was turned down by the
Top 14 club.
Genia will be available for the Tests against Scotland,
Ireland and France inside the international window, but negotiations are likely
to begin anew ahead of the match against England on December 4.
Cheika, who was coach of Stade Francais from 2010-12, sent
the scrumhalf back to France before the Test against the All Blacks last month
in the hope of building some goodwill.
The French club would not have anticipated having to release
Genia for international duty at all when they signed him, given he would have
been ineligible until Cheika orchestrated the "Giteau Rule".
With 72 Wallabies caps, Genia comfortably qualifies to play
for his country under that rule, despite playing his club rugby outside
Nick Phipps is almost certain to deputise for Genia on
Saturday, as he did against the All Blacks last month, as Australia bid for a
12th straight win over the Welsh to kick off their bid for a first Grand Slam