Bernard Foley practices his passing during a gym session. Picture: Getty Images
Bernard Foley practices his passing during a gym session. Picture: Getty Images

‘Cute little thing’ ready for emergency halfback role

Wallabies veteran Will Genia has revealed the left-field choice should the team need an emergency halfback at the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Flyhalf Bernard Foley is the pinch-hitter who will feed the scrums as No. 3 halfback should something suddenly befall Genia or Nic White.

The All Blacks and South Africa have halfback covered with three specialists but Wallabies boss Michael Cheika wanted extra manpower elsewhere so he went with only two.

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"Interesting you should ask … Bernard Foley has been doing a lot of practice feeding scrums and passing so if the worse comes to the worse we've got that cute little thing playing halfback," Genia said with a laugh.

The Wallabies have had to get inventive before. Remember 35-year-old backrower Radike Samo playing on the wing against Russia at the 2011 tournament in New Zealand?

Genia dearly wants to start in the big games of his third World Cup but he's relaxed.

"Play 20 minutes, play 80, play 60 … whatever it is I'm confident in my game and the impact I can bring to help the team," Genia said.

Most of all the 105-Test halfback is just excited for the tournament to get underway against Fiji in Sapporo on Saturday as the final chapter of his decorated Test career begins.

After a decade in gold, there is definitely something that sets a World Cup apart.

"It's a different kind of buzz and energy you feel," Genia, 31, said.

"All the attention is on rugby, all (20 teams) are competing and I find that so exciting."

Beginning the final weeks of his Test career, is there time to get sentimental about this last hurrah?

Bernard Foley in action for the Wallabies. Picture: Getty Images
Bernard Foley in action for the Wallabies. Picture: Getty Images

"Yeah, a bit," Genia said.

"The overwhelming emotion is being grateful that I get to go out on my own terms and I want to make the most of the moments I have with teammates here."

Genia said he had a good working relationship with White, who has made such a strong return to the Wallabies' ranks from his time in English club rugby.

"We have a similar understanding of the game and our styles really suit how we want to play as the Wallabies at this tournament," Genia said.

"I really enjoy our working relationship."

Who starts at halfback against Fiji? Stay tuned.