Wallabies half Will Genia ranks Bledisloe as his top priority

Jose Verdugo
Agosto 16, 2018

"It's a big focus to start well, I think we're well aware of that and we're going to make sure we do everything we can to do that".

"I can only speak from my personal point of view but to me I'd have to say it's the pinnacle", Genia told reporters on Monday, in the leadup to the Rugby Championship and Bledisloe opener in Sydney.

Ben Smith said the All Blacks' dominant record over their trans-Tasman rivals since 2002, when the Wallabies last held the Bledisloe, was "irrelevant", and pointed instead to the hard-fought series past year as a true indication of the difference between the two sides.

The 26-year old has already amassed 82 Tests, and now holds the record as the youngest-ever player to reach 100 Super Rugby caps.

"In the Rugby World Cup in 2015, he was one of the best players on the planet". I like heading down to Manly Oval to watch club footy in time off, I obviously enjoy getting stuck in at Super Rugby level and then nothing compares to playing Test footy for your country.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said: "Michael's commitment to Rugby in Australia and to the Wallabies is second to none.

"Players, particularly, get to understand the history of it as well and they take pride in that".

"Once we got that sorted out it was a titanic struggle for the other two games".

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"Every time he has pulled on the green and gold he shows this commitment, and now as captain he's learning each day and growing into the type of leader that we need in the game".

"It [starting well] has definitely been a big focus for us, certainly in the last few training sessions it's been spoken about a lot", he said.

"We want to be the ones to change that and to bring that kind of support and attitude back to Australian rugby". He offers so much both on and off the field and is a fine example to all young Australians.

"The length of the deal will be talked about but it's fair reward for a player like Michael".

The All Blacks have held the Bledisloe since 2003, but Hansen last week declared Australia were worthy of favouritism this year.

That led to a Test debut in 2012 where he won Wallabies "Rookie of the Year" and polled third in the annual John Eales Medal, despite having played less than half of the polling games.

"Well in previous years we used to come over later in the week", he said.

Williams is expected to miss the first two matches of the Bledisloe Cup series as he continues his recovery from a shoulder injury while Milner-Skudder may play in New Zealand's national championship as he also returns from injury.

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