Bledisloe Cup 2018
Wallabies halfback Will Genia rates winning a Bledisloe Cup above the World Cup and admits there’s a greater sense of urgency for him as time advances.
The Queenslander describes a series victory against the New Zealanders as his “number one priority”.
The Wallabies head into Saturday’s 2018 Bledisloe opener in Sydney trying to end New Zealand’s 15-year hold on the trophy.
Asked what winning the Bledisloe would mean to the Wallabies, Genia said: “Everything”.
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“I can only speak from my personal point of view and for me, I’d have to say it’s the pinnacle.
“The World Cup is obviously up there but how often do you get to play the best team in the world three times and have to win two out of three to win a trophy?”
“I’ve been trying for a while now so I’m really looking forward to another crack.”
Genia has played in just three wins in 20 Bledisloe matches since 2009.
At 30, he said he recognised time was running out to get that cherished series win.
“I guess there is a sense of urgency there but you’ve got to find that balance,” he said.
“It’s not about making it about yourself and being selfish. It’s about doing it for the right reasons.”
He said it was difficult to establish whether winning a Bledisloe was harder than claiming the World Cup given he hadn’t done either but said the former was now his specific goal.
“I will say for me it’s the number one priority because they are the best team in the world for the last 15, 20 years, back-to-back World Cup winners,” Genia said.
“You have to beat them two times out of three to win that trophy so for me that makes it incredibly difficult and also will make it incredibly special if we’re fortunate enough to do it.”
While All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has declared the Wallabies favourites for Saturday’s match, Genia stressed mind games were the province of the coaches and the players concentrated on their jobs.
He said Australia were in a lot better physical condition than at the same stage last year because of the recent trial.
Genia felt the Wallabies were building nicely towards next year’s World Cup following the recent tight series against Six Nations champions Ireland.
“The June series last year, I don’t think we performed that well at all and I don’t think we were in good condition, mentally and physically,” he said.
“Coming out of that (Ireland) series, we’re in pretty good shape but we’ve obviously got to continue to build throughout this Rugby Championship and then on to next year as well.”