Wallabies halfback Will Genia has revealed his love of the Queensland Reds has kept him at Ballymore despite initially agreeing to a much-bigger offer from the Western Force.
Genia performed a dramatic about-face on Monday when he signed a new three-year deal for the Reds, just three days after he'd told coach Ewen McKenzie he was leaving for the Force.
The Queensland Rugby Union announced on Saturday night they could not go close to matching the Perth-based franchises offer, reportedly between $AU550,000 to $AU600,000 per season.
It's understood the Reds had agreed to pay him around $AU400,000, a figure which they did not need to bump up after Genia made a U-turn on Sunday.
"Their offer didn't change,'' the Queensland vice-captain said. "I stayed because I want to stay.
"I love the environment, I love the culture and I love where the club is heading and that's the reason I wanted to stay.
"The financial gain to move to Perth was quite significant but it's not about money. It's about where I'm happy and this is where I'd be happy.
"I genuinely love playing with the guys who are my teammates and love wearing the red jersey.''
The Reds' player of the year for the past two seasons, Genia told McKenzie he'd decided to leave the defending champions following Friday night's 23-11 win over the Blues in Auckland.
But he said second thoughts immediately crept in.
"I made my mind up and changed my mind several times but if I'm going to be honest the reason I've decided to stay is because after the game against the Blues the feeling of satisfaction and pride in that performance was just an amazing feeling,'' he said.
"It was a scary thought to think I may not feel that way about playing for another club.
"Singing the team song in the change room afterwards and thinking I would not have the opportunity next year was a scary thought.
"I have too many good relationships here.
"I love the place. I wake every morning looking forward to coming to training and that's too hard to give away.''