One of the potential stars of the next Lions tour has been given added responsibility at the start of the new southern hemisphere season.
Young scrum-half Will Genia is fast becoming one of the most talked-about figures in world rugby following a stunning year in which he raced to prominence with Queensland Reds and the Wallabies.
Having made the Australian No9 shirt very much his own on the end-of-season tour to Hong Kong and Europe during the autumn, Genia looks set to push on even further in 2010.
After just two games of the new Super 14 season, the 22-year-old has been promoted to captain of a Reds side that crushed New Zealand giants the Crusaders last weekend.
Genia, who wasn’t even first-choice in his position at the start of last season, will take over from the unfortunate James Horwill after the second row suffered a season-ending knee injury on Saturday.
“Will is in a good position,” said Reds coach Ewen McKenzie.
“We made him the vice-captain (before Horwill’s injury) because we thought he’s got the potential to lead.
“He certainly leads by example; he does just about everything right in the game.
“He’ll step up and we’ll just consider our options of who’ll support him in a vice-captain role.”
Genia’s first task will be to lead the Reds to their first victory over the Auckland Blues at Ballymore in Brisbane in six years on Saturday.