Australia have received a major boost ahead of next year’s Lions tour after Will Genia penned a new three-year deal.
The world class scrum-half had been at the centre of mounting speculation over a move to Japan that would have put his chances of facing the Lions in jeopardy.
But Genia has committed his services to Queensland Reds and Australia until the end of 2015 and cited next June’s visit of the famous tourists as a decidng factor.
"I'm certainly happy that everything is now locked away and I very happy with where it has all landed,” said Genia.
"This is definitely where I want to be, playing for Queensland and Australia.
"Next year is a big year, there are big things happening in Queensland and of course it will be a huge year for the Wallabies.
“The Lions Tour is a once in a career opportunity and it is certainly one of the reasons behind wanting to stay in Australia."
Genia is currently sidelined having suffered a knee injury during the Rugby Championship and his focus remains of rehabilitation.
“My focus now is on getting the knee right, getting fit and getting back out on the field for the Reds and the Wallabies,” he added.
But, as the attention turns to Genia’s Reds and Australia half-back partner Quade Cooper, the Wallabies star admits the contract process was frustrating.
“No doubt it's quite frustrating that it has taken a while but at the end of the day you have to trust the process and the governing body will do what's right by you," said Genia.
"I am happy with the process. I obviously would like for it to be sped up a bit so it does take away options for players looking overseas. Especially when you're looking to wrap up really key players."
Genia has been in regular contact with Cooper and while he does not know the fly-half’s final decision, he is hopeful the maverick will stay.
"Come Monday all will be revealed to everyone because we're just as much in the dark as everyone," added Genia.
"I would love for him to stay. I don't want him to go anywhere else."