Cape Town - Saturday's Test against England will be Wallabies scrumhalf
Will Genia's first appearance at Twickenham since the 2015 Rugby World Cup, but
that tournament is well and truly out of his mind.
Genia was unavailable for the Wallabies-England clash at the
venue last year, as well as the 2016 June Series, with the Test outside the
November window and the 29-year-old still playing with Stade Français, and he
relishes the chance to lock horns with the old enemy.
"I’m really looking forward to it," he told the
Australian Rugby Union's official website.
"I missed out on the England games last year so on a
personal note, I’m just looking forward to that big challenge."
The last time Genia was part of an Australia-England clash
was that 2015 tournament, where the Wallabies put in one of their best
performances in history to knock the hosts out of the pool stage.
Genia said that 33-13 victory was a match where everything
came together for the Wallabies.
“A lot of stuff came off and it was on the back of good
preparation,” he said.
“We were sharp mentally and physically and we just gave
every opportunity to play well and guys went out there and executed.”
Regardless of where it rates in history, Genia won’t be
preoccupied with nostalgia, or hype, as the Wallabies look towards England.
“It was a great performance [in 2015] but that is all sort
of done and it’s similar to the game tonight,” he added.
“People talk about the record we have here (in Wales) but
none of it counts for anything once you get on the field.
“We’re not worried about things that have happened before.
“The game isn’t extra special, it’s just for us as we get to
London, we do our work and give ourselves a chance of performing on Saturday.”
It’s a stance echoed by coach Michael Cheika, who had his
eyes firmly forward after a 13th-straight win over Wales.
“Any match you go out starting at zero-zero,” he said.
“What happens six months ago, 12 months ago, two years ago
is irrelevant with different players, different mind-set, different conditions.
“We're humans and we love to pick these patterns but at the
end of day it's what happens next.
“It's only about what happens in the future that counts.”
Australia will take plenty of pride from their gutsy
performance against Wales, an effort that evoked their 2015 World Cup pool win
against the Welsh.
“Big games are won the back of defence,” said Genia.
“Those sorts of things show the character of teams.”
In attack, as well, the Wallabies were pleased, with
forwards finishing off three of their four tries, before a Kurtley Beale
one-on-one steal on Steff Evans sealed the game.
“I thought our points were quite well constructed,” Genia
“There was the driving maul and Hoops’ try and Adz’ as well.
We can take some confidence on the back of how we scored our points.”