SYDNEY – Wallabies scrumhalf Will Genia will retire from internationals after the Rugby World Cup, he said on Friday.
Genia, who made his test debut in 2009, earned his 100th cap against England on the end-of-season tour in Europe last year and is due to make his third World Cup later this year in Japan.
The 31-year-old will continue to play club rugby after the World Cup, with Kintetsu Liners saying on Thursday he would join them ahead of next year's season in Japan.
The former skipper said he felt it was the right time to stand aside.
“When I had to make the decision, I felt the time was right for me,” he said in a Rugby Australia statement on Friday.
“From a team perspective this year, we want to start building momentum leading into the World Cup and obviously that starts during the Rugby Championship.
“From a personal perspective, I want to just enjoy it. It seems like just yesterday I walked into Wallabies camp at aged 21 and now I'm 31.”
Papua New Guinea-born Genia is currently in South Africa with the Wallabies preparing for their Rugby Championship opener against the Springboks in Johannesburg on July 20.
He said he would be leaving the Wallabies in good hands after the global showpiece, with Nic White returning from Europe, while players like Joe Powell, Tate McDermott and Moses Sorovi were adding depth to the position.
“I feel like I'm leaving at the right time because there's a whole bunch of young players who are coming through who are very, very good and some experienced ones as well with Nic (White) and Joey (Powell) who's had a couple of tests as well.
“I think there's some very, very talented guys coming through and guys who are willing to work hard and have those ambitions.”
Genia, who had a major knee reconstruction in 2012, also spent two seasons in Paris with Stade Francais following the 2015 Rugby World Cup before returning to Australia with the Melbourne Rebels from 2018.
He won his only Super Rugby title in 2011 with the Queensland Reds, for whom he played more than 100 games and still considers his home.
“I say it to the Reds boys now but (Lang Park) is still my home,” he said. “That's the most special place I've played footy.
“If I'm fortunate enough to be playing in the test match there against Argentina in a couple of weeks, it would be incredibly special and very emotional.”Reuters