Will Genia says he will be doing everything he can to ensure Quade Cooper lines up against The British & Irish Lions this summer.
Cooper was left out of the Qantas Wallabies’ 25-man squad for the three-Test series last Sunday but head coach Robbie Deans has admitted that the Reds fly-half could still be included among six additional players on June 11.
And scrum-half Genia, who has repeatedly spoken of his desire to play alongside Cooper when The Lions arrive in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, insists he will be supporting his provincial halfback partner in his efforts to earn a timely recall.
“In terms of Quade's situation, it is obviously very disappointing,' said Genia, who is in the running for the captain’s or vice captain’s role for his country.
“As a mate and a friend, I will definitely support him in doing whatever he needs to do to get into that last six that is named.
“I absolutely back him to get there. He has been playing exceptionally well for us thus far this season.”
Deans’ decision to leave out the mercurial Cooper has drawn plenty of headlines in Australia this week but the New Zealander is adamant that his omission has nothing to do with a clash of personalities.
Cooper received a heavy fine for last year’s public outburst in which he described the national camp as ‘toxic’ and criticised Deans’ tactics.
But Deans says his reasons for overlooking the 24-year-old are purely rugby related after he stated that he wanted Cooper to show improvements before he names his final 31-man squad in three weeks’ time.
Cooper has been made aware of those requirements and Genia is certain his club colleague will bounce back with a bang.
“They've named a few things they want him to work on and I think he is mature enough to understand that and go away and work on those things.”
Why not like our official Facebook page Official Lions Rugby and join the conversation as we get set for the 125th anniversary Tour?