Will Genia admits he got the same buzz out of his Wallabies recall as when he first received a Test call-up five years ago.
Recalled halfback Will Genia won’t sign to play with Sam Burgess at Bath anytime soon and insists he’s as hungry as ever to hit new Wallabies heights.
Despite being viewed as a poster boy for English rugby’s raids on Southern Hemisphere stars, Genia has dismissed UK reports an announcement was imminent he’ll turn out for Bath after next year’s World Cup.
The 55-Test No.9, also in the sights of cashed-up French clubs Stade Francais and Lyon, freely admits he’s exploring all options beyond 2015 and was a fan of the Australian Rugby Union’s new flexible contracting arrangements.
But fit-again Genia stressed next week’s tour of South Africa and Argentina was at the forefront of his mind after Wednesday being included in Australia’s 28-man squad as a back-up to the in-form Nick Phipps.
“When Ewen (McKenzie) called me up and told me I’d got picked it was like I’d been picked for the first time and that’s a good sign,” the Queensland Reds vice-captain told AAP.
“From my point of view, I feel really hungry and the desire is obviously still there and burning and I still want to have an impact with Australian rugby moving forward.
“I’m not going to take it for granted. I’m not expecting to walk back into the team. I just want to make the most of my opportunity.”
Renewed speculation about Genia’s move to Bath, where Burgess will play this season, has made headlines in England this week with The Rugby Football Union set to ratify new contracting regulations on Thursday morning (AEST).
As well as lifting the Aviva Premiership salary cap to STG5.5 million ($A10.04 million), English clubs can sign an extra marquee player who sits outside their cap.
The changes are designed to lure the biggest stars in world rugby – especially All Blacks and Wallabies – following the World Cup.
The Australian Rugby Union’s new “sabbatical” protocols are set to allow a handful of top players short-term foreign stints.
Quade Cooper, Kurtley Beale and Israel Folau are also prime targets of French and English clubs for their 2015-16 competitions and beyond.
Genia, who remains in talks with the Reds and ARU, admitted an overseas stint could be good timing for him.
“Obviously at the end of the next Rugby World Cup I’ll be 27, going on 28, and you have to consider whatever options are out there and depending on your circumstance whether you want to experience anything different or not,” he said.
While a coy Genia wouldn’t reveal whether he’s received ARU permission for a sabbatical, he supported the “smart innovation” to prevent a long-term exodus of stars.
“It’s a step in the right direction in terms of wanting to keep not only the high-profile but top players within the country,” he said.