LONDON – Wallabies halfback Will Genia has been summoned back to the realm of French Club Rugby once again, leaving Australia without their halfback ace for the final test of 2016.
On Monday morning UK time coach Michael Cheika informed the media that a formal request had been made to Genia’s Stade Francais side to release the halfback back for the England test.
“Right now, from the conversations we’ve had with Paris, they’re not releasing him,” Cheika said.
“The French place more importance on their game for Will than our International but that’s the way the rules are and we’ll have to deal with it.”
As the final test falls outside the mandated November Test Window, Stade Francais are under no obligation to release Genia for their 10th vs 13th fixture against Bayonne in the Top 14.
Cheika promised to “have another crack” at convincing the French to change their position but admitted it would be unlikely to see the halfback suit up on Saturday.
Genia’s absence will hand the Wallabies nine jersey to Waratah Nick Phipps, who has attracted ample criticism over his career.
The Genia bombshell was just one of many during the press conference as Cheika confirmed that Dean Mumm would face the citing panel for his lifting clean-out of Irish prop Tadgh Furlong that resulted in a 22nd minute yellow card in Dublin.
Refusing to be drawn in to commenting in fear of retribution in the hearing, Cheika instead promised that Australia would mount their defence and let the process take its course.
Rubbing his eyes, Cheika also revealed that World Rugby Referee’s boss Allain Rolland had not yet responded to the Wallabies requests to discuss concerns with the performance of referee Jerome Garces in the 27-24 Grand Slam breaking defeat on Saturday night.
“[Rolland] hasn’t got back to me so I doubt it will happen,” the Wallabies coach said. “I made my calls throughout the night and the ball is in their court. I don’t know if a meeting will happen.”