Top 14: Australia scrum-half Will Genia to join Stade Français
Wallaby heading to Paris following the Rugby World Cup after the French club convinced Bath Rugby to tear up pre-contract agreement
Will Genia has signed a three-year contract to join Top 14 club Stade Français after the Rugby World Cup later this year.
The 27-year-old had been expected to stay in England after the global showpiece in September and October to join Bath Rugby.
It’s a great signing and one which will strengthen our squad in a vital position. It will spark some competition and that’s always good.”
Stade Français president Thomas Savare on Will Genia
But the Queensland Reds and Australia scrum-half had his head turned by a move to the French capital and is expected to provide competition with French duo Julien Dupuy and Julien Tomas, with 37-year-old Jerôme Fillol expected to retire this summer.
Stade president Thomas Savare confirmed Genia’s signing on Thursday afternoon.
“We can confirm that Will Genia will be part of our squad after the World Cup,” Savare said.
“It’s a great signing and one which will strengthen our squad in a vital position.
“It will spark some competition and that’s always good.”
Papua New Guinea-born Genia, who was part of the Reds’ Super Rugby-winning side in 2011, has struggled in recent seasons with injuries, and has seen Nick Phipps and Nic White challenge for the starting half-back role.
But he was a part of Michael Cheika’s Wallabies squad for their northern hemisphere tour last November, coming off the bench against Wales, France and Ireland to take his Test caps up to 58.
And Stade confirmed that they had held discussions with Bath’s management to overcome any issues over a pre-contract agreement the club thought they had secured to keep the Australian away from the hands of big-spending French clubs.
“There had been discussions,” Savare added.
“We had to talk to Bath and found a solution that makes everyone happy.”