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Tight5: Genia media highlights

New recruit Will Genia has spoken for the first time in Melbourne Rebels colours following his first training session with the club on Thursday morning at Gosch’s Paddock in Melbourne.

We bring you the five highlights from the Genia press conference.

On his much-anticipated return to Australian rugby after two years with Stade Francais:

“It was something I was looking forward to. Once my duties with the Wallabies were done at the end of last year, I was really looking forward to having a break then getting stuck in. Super Rugby is a competition that I definitely enjoy playing, I love the level of rugby that’s on offer. It’s great to be a part of a new group that’s building something special here in Melbourne.”

On continuing his Super Rugby career with the Melbourne Rebels:

“I realised I was ready for a fresh start coming back here to Australia. I’ve done everything I wanted to do with the Reds and closed that chapter of my life, I’m looking forward to working with a new and young coaching staff and a young playing group hungry for success.”

On the expectations of the club for 2018:

“We ourselves set high expectations because at the end of the day you can look at the playing group on paper and think that we should do this or could do that but the biggest thing is that we build that environment and culture. The one thing about having all these high-quality players is that there’s a lot of competition for spots. If we can have that healthy competition it will only drive each other to get better individually and collectively as a group.”

On the quality of the Rebels squad:

“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what your roster looks like on paper. When I look back to winning the competition with the Reds in 2011, we didn’t have the roster that we’ve got here so it’s about making sure we gel off-field and build that culture. If we can do that we will give ourselves the opportunity to go well in the competition.”

On his return to training after the break:

“I’ve got a bit of work to do, I had a good six weeks off. I did a little bit of training but nothing compares to getting out there and stuck in with the boys. I’ve got six weeks to get myself ready for that first game. For me, I just need to concentrate on my job and try to get myself an opportunity in the starting line-up as well so we’ll just train hard and see where we go.”

The Melbourne Rebels will kick-off its 2018 Super Rugby campaign at home against the Queensland Reds at AAMI Park on Friday 23 February from 7.30pm (AEDT).

Join the Rebel Army for the 2018 Super Rugby with memberships now on sale from as little as $88 for an adult, $35 for children and $218 for a family of four for all eight home games.