St.George Queensland Reds scrumhalf Will Genia was the real ironman of Queensland Rugby in 2012 as he featured in every minute of all 17 Super Rugby matches before finishing the season as the team’s captain following a hamstring injury to James Horwill, just before the competition’s June Test break. The 75 Reds caps Will has earned heading into 2013 ranks him third on the current squad list of most games played for Queensland and he is now well on track to join the prestigious 100 Cap Club of Queensland Rugby after re-signing with the province for a further three seasons midway through the 2012 Super Rugby season. After hefty media conjecture on his future, Will ultimately chose to commit to Queensland, labeling the organisation’s culture and team camaraderie as the chief reason for staying. His 2012 form was recognised by the fans and he was voted the People’s Choice Award winner at the team’s annual Gala Ball & Auction. On the international stage Will stepped up into the Wallabies captaincy during the June Test window against Scotland and Wales and also in the early stages of the Rugby Championship before a serious knee injury forced the talented playmaker to go under the knife. Before injury, however, Will was the team’s foremost performer with his Man of the Match effort in Australia’s opening Test against Wales capped off by one of the better individual tries scored during the series. He ended the series as Australia’s third most capped halfback, after surpassing the 37 Test appearances made by his now France-based predecessor Luke Burgess. Will’s efforts in 2012 came after a memorable 2011 season where he confirmed his status as an elite talent in world Rugby after winning his second straight Pilecki Medal for Players’ Player. He was also crowned the Australian Super Rugby Player of the Year in 2011, after finishing behind his halves partner Quade Cooper in 2010. It was a magical 2011 campaign for Will, which also marked his 50th Queensland and Super Rugby appearance. That was followed with selection as the Wallabies first-choice halfback at the Rugby World Cup, where he was also awarded the ultimate honour by being chosen to captain his country in a pool game against the United States of America, becoming the Wallabies 78th Test captain. Will was just as influential to the Reds resurgence in 2010 and, after losing inspirational captain James Horwill to injury after just two games, he was chosen to take over the captaincy duties, a role in which he excelled as he guided the team to their then best Super Rugby finish since 2002 (5th). A hand injury brought a premature end to his 2009 Super 14 campaign but the Wallabies remembered the form Will had shown prior to injury, reinstating him into the squad as soon as he was fit enough to play. Will made his Test debut in Auckland in a brief cameo during 2009 against the All Blacks but showed enough to confirm his readiness for Test Rugby. He didn’t have to wait long to make his run-on debut for Australia, starting in the Wallabies number nine jersey in a victory over South Africa at Suncorp Stadium in 2009 before making the jersey his own on the end of year Grand Slam Tour of the United Kingdom, where he won Man of the Match honours against England. Will made his Super 14 debut in 2007 as a rookie and by the end of the season had established himself in the squad as an exciting player to watch. He made his debut for the Reds before even playing a match of senior club Rugby. A Queensland Under 19 scrumhalf in 2006, Will was picked straight out of the Colts competition before winning his maiden cap in 2007 against the Hurricanes at Suncorp Stadium. He built on that form in 2008 and was rewarded with a place in the IRB Junior World Cup in Wales, where he was the first choice scrumhalf for the Australian U20 side where he was voted Man of the Match against England, despite being on the losing side.DID YOU KNOW?When Will Genia captained Australia at the 2011 Rugby World Cup against the United States of America, he became just the 13th player to captain the Wallabies at the tournament. He was also the seventh Queenslander among that group. ***Updated 27/07/2013***
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