Genia primed for Irish war of attrition

Jim Morton
Wallabies halfback Will Genia is confident he can be fit and firing against Ireland on Saturday

Linchpin Wallabies vice-captain Will Genia has dismissed suggestions he'll be underdone in his injury comeback in a "war of attrition" against Ireland.

Despite missing a month of Super Rugby with a knee ligament strain, Genia says he's primed and ready to fire if selected as expected on Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium.

The presence of the 88-Test halfback is a massive boost to Australia who always look a far more assured attacking side with him calling the shots from the ruckbase.

But there are fears he won't be up to the rigours and speed of the Test match arena against the Irish, who enjoyed an unbeaten Six Nations campaign this year.

Genia, though, said it was the right call - after much discussion between the Melbourne Rebels and Rugby Australia - for him to have delayed his return to the field to ensure he was 100 per cent fit for the world No.2-ranked outfit.

"I could have played (on Saturday in Auckland), I was about 80 to 85 per cent, but I still felt like that if I was out there playing I'd still be hesitating a little bit," he said on Monday.

So will the 30-year-old be underdone in what he sees as an "incredibly tough" three-Test series?

"Not at all," he said. "I feel like I've put in the work and at at the end of the day footy is footy you just go out there and play and I'll back myself if I get the opportunity."

Genia labelled the Wallabies the worst-disciplined team in world rugby and stressed they must turn that around to beat Ireland, who he sees as the best.

Coach Michael Cheika has already indicated there will be a renewed focus on Australia cleaning up their act, especially with Irish playmaker Jonny Sexton's boot poised to punish.

Genia also rated Joe Schmidt's Ireland, who held the ball 23 phases in the final play of the game to set up a match-winning Sexton field goal to beat France in their Six Nations opener, highly for their ball retention.

"They give away the least amount of penalties out of the top 10 nations in rugby and they hold on to the ball for long periods of time," he said.

"So it's going to be a tough test in terms of our defence and then obviously with our attack we're not going to get easy outs in terms of penalties.

"It's going to be a war of attrition in that sense and it's something we have to be prepared for."