Will Genia left 'a bit embarrassed' over RWC inclusion at White's expense

Meanwhile, Fiji have included Crusaders star Nemani Nadolo in their 31-man squad.

WILL GENIA TOOK an apologetic tone when texting half-back rival Nic White after the they found themselves on either side of Michael Cheika’s chopping block.

Will Genia Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Cheika finalised his 31-man Rugby World Cup squad today, with some some surprising omissions.

The decision to bring just two hookers – a specialist position that World Rugby laws demand bench cover for in each game – has raised many eyebrows, with the concern arising over what may happen if a hooker should suffer an injury that will hamper them for a week rather than end their tournament.

The concern is similar, but not quite as stark at number nine where Genia joins Nick Phipps, with White missing out despite his starring role in the recent home win over New Zealand.

Cheika asked members of the 1999 Rugby World Cup-winning squad to call the players lucky enough to be involved. So after the elation of getting the nod from George Gregan yesterday, came Genia’s realisation that he was one of two rather than three. He told The Roar of the consolation message sent to White:

“I said: ‘Look mate, I feel a bit embarrassed because I haven’t played much footy and you played really well with your match-winning cameo against the All Blacks off the bench.’

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“I said to him: ‘I promise you I’ll do my best to make you proud.’ I think he appreciated it. He sent me a message back.”

The Stade Francais-bound playmaker refused to remain sheepish for long, however, vowing not to leave the Green and Gold feeling let down.

“I guess I’m fortunate enough that I’ve played for the Wallabies for a number of years now and in the last World Cup, so I don’t think there’s pressure in that sense.

The only pressure I feel is the pressure I put on myself to perform. I don’t want to let my teammates down, let Australia down.

“I’ll work hard to make sure that when I go out there to play that I’ll be ready to play as hard as I can.”

Meanwhile, Fiji have also finalised their squad for their tilt at upsetting England, Wales and Australia in Pool A this autumn. The brilliant Crusaders wing Nemani Nadolo has been included in their ranks despite fears he may miss out with an abdominal injury.

Some other familiar faces for Pro12 viewers include Ospreys’ Josh Matavesi alongside Glasgow Warriors champion pair Leone Nakarawa and Niko Matawalu. Former Clermont wing Napolioni Nalaga and Leicester’s Seremaia Bai are among those kept in reserve.

Fiji squad for 2015 Rugby World Cup

Forwards: Lee Roy Atalifo, Isei Colati, Campese Ma’afu, Peni Ravai, Manasa Saulo, Sunia Koto, Tuapati Talemaitoga, Viliame Veikoso, Tevita Cavubati, Leone Nakarawa, Api Ratuniyarawa, Nemia Soqeta, Sakiusa Masi Matadigo, Akapusi Qera (captain), Malakai Ravulo, Netani Talei, Dom Waqaniburotu, Peceli Yato

Backs: Nemia Kenatale, Nikola Matawalu, Henry Seniloli, Lepani Botia, Gabiriele Lovobalavu, Josh Matavesi, Ben Volavola, Vereniki Goneva, Kini Murimurivalu, Nemani Nadolo, Waisea Nayacalevu, Metuisela Talebula, Asaeli Tikoirotuma.

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