Rugby: Genia gets boot, as does stand in

Deposed Wallabies halfback Will Genia has donated two pairs of boots to Nic White. Photo / Getty Images
Deposed Wallabies halfback Will Genia has donated two pairs of boots to Nic White. Photo / Getty Images

Stepping into the boots of arguably the best halfback in world rugby would be a daunting experience for most rugby players.

But for Brumbies halfback Nic White, it couldn't be a more comfortable fit.

Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie dropped the biggest selection bombshell of his short and winless tenure yesterday when he relegated stand-in skipper Will Genia to the bench for Saturday's test against Argentina in Perth.

McKenzie said it was a tough call to bench Genia.

"The fact that Will has captained his country shows what high regard we hold him in," McKenzie said. "While he is naturally disappointed, I also know how competitive he is and I've got no doubts he will train himself to a standstill to bounce back as a better player.

"We've spoken about what areas we believe he can continue to improve ... and he was receptive to going back and addressing those things. In the end, it wasn't an easy decision because he is undoubtedly a world-class player."

The move has seen White thrust into the starting side, and the 23-year-old revealed Genia had been giving him more than just wise words in the countdown to his first test starting role.

"He's not only offered advice, he's also given me two pairs of boots," White said.

"He gets given a lot of pairs and had a couple left over.

"Most of the guys up here have size 13, 14 boots. So it's pretty rare to have two blokes with size 10."

White was told of his promotion before training on Monday.

The 1.73m speedster was a five-eighth during his early schooldays, and grew up idolising Stephen Larkham - now his Brumbies backline coach.

But after making the switch to halfback when he was 15, he took a greater interest in another Wallabies and Brumbies great, George Gregan.

White made his test debut only last month, but has impressed McKenzie during his three appearances off the bench.

He was on the verge of making his test debut last year, only for a shoulder reconstruction to rule him out of action.

Australia: James Slipper, Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander, Rob Simmons, Kane Douglas, Scott Fardy, Michael Hooper, Ben Mowen (captain), Nic White, Quade Cooper, Nick Cummins, Christian Leali'ifano, Adam Ashley-Cooper, James O'Connor, Israel Folau. Reserves: Saia Fainga'a, Scott Sio, Sekope Kepu, Sitaleki Timani, Ben McCalman, Will Genia, Matt Toomua, Tevita Kuridrani.

Argentina: Juan Martin Hernandez, Horacio Agulla, Gonzalo Tiesi, Felipe Contepomi, Juan Imhoff, Nicolas Sanchez, Tomas Cubelli, Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Pablo Matera, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, Julio Farias Cabello, Manuel Carizza, Juan Figallo, Agustin Creevy, Marcos Ayerza. Reserves: Eusebio Guinazu, Nahuel Lobo, Juan Pablo Orlandi, Mariano Galarza, Benjamin Macome, Martin Landajo, Santiago Fernandez, Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino.

- AAP

- NZ Herald

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