Win, lose or draw, Qantas Wallabies scrum half Will Genia says he will never forget the three week battle with the British & Irish Lions.
Tonight’s defining game in front of a sell-out crowd of 84,000 at the ANZ Stadium will determine which team holds the Tom Richards Trophy for the next 12 years, but the memories of one of the tightest series will linger even longer.
“I'll never forget it. Living and breathing it now, I feel so lucky, blessed and privileged to be here and be a part of this series,” admitted Genia, who is heading the race to be named ‘Man of the Series’.
“It happens once every 12 years and just the intensity and passion a Lions tour brings to Australia, it is incredible to be a part of it. It's something I'll look back on and will have fond memories of, regardless of what happens on the weekend – I've loved every second of it.
“We spent a lot of time together in the weeks building up to the series building bonds, and there was a big focus on guys making sure you get out of your comfort zone and mix with guys you don't normally mix with.
“The boys really took to that, we spent time with each other and that shows on the field. You have to be good mates off the same field.”
There was plenty of character in the way the Wallabies fought back to level the series with their 16-15 win in Melbourne in the second Test and Genia pointed to the moment his side chose to shun three points and go for a match winning try as the key moment in the series to date.
And he promises more of that same intent in Sydney tonight as the Wallabies seek to match their fight-back of 2001 by hitting back after a defeat in the first Test to win the next two and run off with the trophy.
“We were down by six hence we took the scrum. If we'd lost we'd probably be talking about it differently, but we won the game. We didn't get any points or return from that, but it showed intent and how we wanted to play the game,” he added.
“We wanted to score the try and get the seven points rather than kick three and go looking for another three. If we'd kicked the penalty we'd have had to score a try to get the win and we wanted the win, not a draw.”