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Genia stays and hopes Cooper follows
By Jim Morton
14:45 AEST Fri Nov 23 2012

Will Genia has revealed his frustrations with the Australian Rugby Union's slow-paced contracting process after confirming a new three-year Wallabies deal - seven months after re-signing with the Queensland Reds.

However, the world's best No.9 still retains faith in the much-maligned system and remains optimistic halves partner Quade Cooper won't fall victim to it.

Genia is a relieved man after finally striking a new ARU deal on Friday but he'll be even happier next week if Cooper follows suit to keep the pair together through to the 2015 World Cup in England.

"No doubt it's quite frustrating that it has taken a while but at the end of the day you have to trust the process and the governing body will do what's right by you," said the 41-Test halfback, who considered a lucrative contract in Japan.

"I am happy with the process. I obviously would like for it to be sped up a bit so it does take away options for players looking overseas.

"Especially when you're looking to wrap up really key players."

Cooper is set to front a Brisbane press conference early next week to outline his future in the wake of reports he'll snub a low-grade, incentive-based ARU deal to take up boxing and play overseas.

Like Genia, Cooper signed a new three-year contract with the Reds during the Super Rugby season but was unhappy with the ARU's top-up component.

Genia's re-signing is the final act in a drawn-out process where the 24-year-old momentarily defected to the Western Force in April before a change of heart had him re-sign with the Reds for three more years.

Under the ARU's new contracting system, players negotiate with the national body secondly and Genia's talks only intensified when news broke he was eying a big foreign deal.

"It's a massive relief. I committed to the Reds mid-season and to have it finally sorted now I'm very happy and very relieved," he said.

Genia has been in contact with Cooper, who is on holidays, via text message at a time Queensland officials are playing peacemakers with the controversial five-eighth and the ARU.

Initial peace talks have given the QRU hope Cooper will continue his 38-Test career in Brisbane.

"Come Monday all will be revealed to everyone because we're just as much in the dark as everyone," Genia said. "I would love for him to stay. I don't want him to go anywhere else."

Sidelined following a knee reconstruction, the Wallabies linchpin is set to resume running in the next month and remains confident he can return to the field in March - missing the first four rounds of Super Rugby.

Joking he had an escape clause to play basketball, Genia said the 2015 World Cup was a major motivating factor following the disappointment of the Wallabies semi-final failure against the All Blacks last year.


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