Former Melbourne Rebels star Will Genia has admitted that his 2-year tenure at the Rebels was the most enjoyable years of his rugby career.
Now at Japanese club Kintetsu Liners, the former fan favourite took time on Monday night to chat with Mel Kawa as part of the “Kawa Convos” Instagram interview series.
“Melbourne was amazing,” Genia said.
“I loved the place, the city and everything about it.
“More than that, I loved the Rebels, I genuinely really liked the organisation and the club right from top down from the CEO down to everybody at the club.
“They were just really good people, they all wanted success and they were all on the same page and were all aligned to achieve those goals.
“It made it so easy to be a part of.
“So often in and around rugby organisations that I’ve been a part of before, everybody’s got different agendas, everybody wants this everybody wants that, whereas it was just a really happy place to be.
“It’s probably the most enjoyable two years of rugby I’ve had just because of that.
“It was a place where I could just be free and express myself on the field, off the field and just work hard to chase success."
After joining the Rebels in 2018, Genia made 23 appearances for the Rebels as a scrum-half providing the side with x-factor and plenty of excitement for the fans.
Having played at some of the world’s most iconic rugby venues, Genia says that Rebels fans are as passionate as anyone.
“They’re amazing supporters,” he said.
“We get like ten-thousand people come to watch us play but it felt like twenty-thousand because they just love it.
“You feel that passion and you feel that energy and it what drives you to want to be successful.
“Obviously you have your own personal ambitions and team ambitions but when you see people that are so passionate about it, that’s a driving factor as well and I really enjoyed being a part of that.”
Just weeks away from the start of the Vodafone Super Rugby AU campaign, Genia offered his thoughts on the Rebels chances of a breakthrough title.
Having broken a few club records in recent seasons, Genia says that consistency is key for the Rebels.
“In the two years I was there we started to find some consistency and started playing well and set a number of records for points scored and games won and things like that.
“When it started to get hard and we started to play good quality opposition, we’d struggle to find consistency over the course of 80 minutes and I think that just comes with experience.
“Dave’s (Wessels) had only been there for two years and he’s trying to implement a game style and it takes time; everyone needs to get comfortable with it.”
Filling in the number 9 slot at the Rebels in season 2020 is Genia’s former Kintetsu teammate Ryan Louwrens who has made a big impact since coming into the Rebels XV.
Genia is bullish about the exciting scrum-half and thinks he could be pushing for his first Wallabies cap when he’s eligible.
“I just used to admire how much of an athlete he was.
“You see him at the gym and he lifts weights that people that weigh 150 kilos should be lifting.
“When you see him, he’s not just big, on the field he’s incredibly quick, he’s fit and he’s a very talented player.
“When I heard that he signed at the Rebels I was really happy for him because it’s an opportunity for him to come back and fulfil a dream that has been cut short because of injuries.
“He’s got enormous potential and he’s certainly a player you could see playing for the Wallabies.”