It set Twitter alight just before the kick off between the Force and Stormers tonight, and it’s been confirmed that Wallaby and Queensland Reds half back Will Sanchez Genia has signed with the Western Force for 2013.
It’s a pretty interesting move — ‘the world’s best 9′ moving from the current Super Rugby champions to a lowly ranked team with no coach or recognised 10 confirmed publicly.
However, G&GR understands the following alleged pieces of information:
- The Force have indeed had a coach candidate in place, ever since the Richard Graham news broke. He is Australian and currently overseas — all roads point to Michael Cheika, currently unhappy at Stade Français who only last night were knocked out of the Challenge Cup. His current contract though does go to June 2013.
- If this coach is not confirmed by the Force then Genia has the option to walk away.
- The Force threw so much money at Sanchez that the Reds simply couldn’t / wouldn’t compete.
- Will has been unhappy at the Reds this year, and Richard Graham’s moving in as coach-in-waiting was the last straw. The word is, other Reds have been similarly unhappy.
For the Force, this is truly excellent news. It’s the sort of bac line name that they can recruit around, and with Pocock and allegedly Cheika getting on board, just a world-class 10 is needed for a whole new-look Force outfit. The northern hemisphere country coded phone numbers in Mr Cheika’s mobile would certainly help in this regard…
Footnote: Many people’s first reaction on Twitter was whether Quade would follow his mate out west. First off, it would seem that Quade actually found out about Will’s move via Twitter (no doubt there’s a G&GR Social Pages special to come on this), and second, G&GR has heard that Quade’s sights are allegedly more firmly set on the Melbourne Rebels for 600 thousand and two reasons.
RugbyWA Chief Executive Office Vern Reid said the following;
“In relation to the news on the Queensland website, all I can say is that we have spoken to Will Genia’s manager and other players’ managers about recruitment in the past couple of weeks.
“Nothing has been finalised, I’m certainly not in a position where I’m going to make any announcements about Will or any other player.
“It’s mystifying (the statement by the Reds) simply because no details have been finalised.
“We’re speaking to a number of players and are clearly looking to strengthen our inside backs.”
Someone jumped the gun, or did the horse bolt on Vern?