Rugby: Quade is in a good space - Genia

By Steven Holloway

Wallabies captain Will Genia is confident the introduction of play-maker Quade Cooper will help his side overturn their wretched record against the All Blacks at Eden Park tomorrow night.

Cooper only offered seven seconds of his time at the Wallabies media conference in Australia yesterday -leading some to question his psyche - but Genia said the Reds star has had a positive effect on the travelling camp.

"Quade is in a good space," Genia said. "He's gotten over the injuries that he's dealt with in rehab and as he said in his media conference, he's fit, he's fast, strong and ready to go."

Genia said Cooper's unpredictable nature caused uncertainty for their opponents and that he enjoyed having the extra threat out wide because it helped to release pressure on the inside.

"But I think his greatest strength is his communication and organisation. He gives clarity in direction and that has been evident throughout our buildup this week."

The form and record book both count heavily against the Wallabies - who had a miserable 80 minutes against the All Blacks in Sydney and are staring down the barrel of a 14th consecutive loss to the All Blacks at Eden Park - but Genia dismissed talk that his side were already beaten.

"To be honest I haven't read any media or seen any reports where we have been written off, all that matters is what we think and how we feel as a group.... and we are confident.

"We do know that it will take a very special effort to win but we wouldn't be here if we didn't think we could do it."

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans showered the All Blacks in praise and made no bones about the fact that they are playing great rugby at the moment.

"They're a good side and are on top of the world and are playing with that confidence. They have a lot of experience, a lot of good decision makers and are surrounded by some genuine capability and enthusiasm - it's a potent mix."

Deans was wary of the All Blacks' line speed and said they had been working on a better way to deal with it.

"They were able to simply race off the line all the time (in Sydney) and we have to create some doubt there in order to play a little bit ourselves."

The Wallabies will be without Hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau who withdrew from the squad after the captains run today in Auckland. He will be replaced on the reserves bench by Saia Faingaa.

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