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'O'Gara held onto my hand and said, 'Look me in the eye and show some respect''

Will Genia was a guest on today’s episode of Rugby Weekly Extra for members of The42.

Genia playing against O'Gara at Croke Park in 2009.
Genia playing against O'Gara at Croke Park in 2009.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

THERE WAS A special guest on today’s episode of The42 Rugby Weekly Extra podcast as 110-times capped Wallabies legend Will Genia dialled in from Japan.

Genia is playing with the Kintetsu Liners in Osaka and he joined Eoin Toolan – who was a coach and performance analyst with the Liners – and Murray Kinsella on the podcast, which is available exclusively to members of The42 every Wednesday.

Ex-Reds, Rebels, and Stade Français man Genia gave fascinating insight into life in Japan and spoke in-depth about scrum-half play in the modern game.

Self-professed rugby nerd Genia also gave his views on how Ireland have been playing under Andy Farrell, France’s push for a Grand Slam, South Africa potentially leaving the Rugby Championship, and also how the Wallabies are shaping up for the World Cup.

Genia has played against Ireland several times in his career and he particularly remembers his first time, when the Wallabies came to Croke Park in 2009 for a November Test that finished 20-20. 

Then 21-year-old Genia got to play against a few Irishmen he had admired from afar, inluding Ronan O’Gara.

“I remember saying to Eoin before that I couldn’t believe I played against O’Gara,” said Genia.

“I watch YouTube clips of him now doing interviews with an Irish TV show about the games and I look at him thinking, ‘I can’t believe I played that bloke.’

“It was in 2009 in Croke Park and I’ve got a good story about it. We were winning that entire game and then O’Driscoll scores under the sticks in the last play of the game to tie it up and we end up tying the game.

“Obviously we were really disappointed and so I was shaking hands with the Irish players, head down. I shook his hand and I looked away with no intention of being disrespectful and he held onto my hand and said, ‘Listen, you look me in the eye and show some respect after a game.’

“I took it in a positive way. I was… I was shit-scared, apologies for my language! 

“I remember just thinking that he was right. You get caught in a line of players you watch growing up, heroes of the game, so that story has always stuck with me.”

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After having a great chat with Genia, Eoin and Murray then turned their attention back towards the Six Nations as they delved into Ireland’s identity under Farrell.

Eoin gave his analysis on Ireland’s win in Twickenham and the lads also previewed the crucial Scotland game this Saturday, discussing the Scottish strengths and possible opportunities for the Irish defence.

Lastly, Eoin and Murray touched on the latest in Super Rugby, including a brilliant late comeback win for the Chiefs against the Crusaders.

To get access to The42 Rugby Weekly Extra, which also comes out every Monday with Gavan Casey, Bernard Jackman, and Murray Kinsella, become a member of The42 at members.the42.ie.

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