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Where there’s no Will there may still be a way for Wallabies

It may be unfair to call Will Genia a one-trick pony, but there’s no doubt that without his potent running game he’s a mere shadow of the player long touted as world rugby’s premier halfback.

That’s a massive call Ewen McKenzie has made, dropping Genia to the bench for the must-win Rugby Championship match against Argentina in Perth. But, in the bigger picture, it should stand the Wallabies in good stead.

It’s not only a timely – some might suggest overdue — wake-up call for Genia; it’s also a chance for Nick White to show he’s the real deal in a critical position crying out for quality back-up.

Probably the only real surprise is that, in opting for White in the run-on side, McKenzie didn’t make his baptism a little easier by slotting his Brumbies team-mate Matt Toomua back in at five-eighth and returning Quade Cooper, found seriously wanting against the Springboks, to the bench.

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It takes a lot to get me out of bed at 6 o’clock of a morning, but I must admit I’ve found Fox Sport’s live coverage of America’s Cup yachting off San Francisco compulsive viewing this past week.

Yes, I acknowledge it’s the Kiwi coming out in me – even though I’ve now lived longer in Oz than I did in my birthplace – but, hell, that’s some thumping Team New Zealand are handing out to a US team (albeit headed by a Kiwi and skippered by an Aussie – go figure!) bankrolled for squillions by multi-billionaire Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.

Who knows, if the Kiwis do prevail and deliver on their promise to cap team budgets and introduce nationality regulations for future competition, we might just see a fair-dinkum Aussie boat back in the America’s Cup mix.

— Peter Thomson


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