"It's the end. A bit of an outpouring of emotion after the game," said scrumhalf Will Genia. Photo: Christophe Ena/AP Photo
"It's the end. A bit of an outpouring of emotion after the game," said scrumhalf Will Genia. Photo: Christophe Ena/AP Photo

Wallaby greats Pocock and Genia bow out grateful and proud

By By Nick Mulvenney Time of article published Oct 19, 2019

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OITA – Australia's thumping loss to

England on Saturday not only brought an end to their World Cup

campaign, it also brought down the curtain on the careers of

Wallaby greats David Pocock and Will Genia. 

Captain Michael Hooper said not to being able to send the

duo into international retirement in a better manner only

reinforced his disappointment at the 40-16 quarter-final

drubbing. 

"I've been a fan of those guys from being a young fella, to

now playing alongside (them). Very proud to represent Australia

with them," said the 27-year-old flanker, who will now have to

wait until next season to win his 100th cap. 

"A lot of me wanted to be able to send those guys out how

they deserved to, but we weren't able to and that's part of the

feeling – I'm feeling pretty gutted." 

Pocock, a three-times world player of the year nominee, and

Genia, who was nominated once, both played in three World Cup

campaigns, reaching the semi-finals in 2011 and the final in

2015. 

"It's the end. A bit of an outpouring of emotion after the

game," said scrumhalf Genia. 

"It's been an amazing journey. I've been so blessed and so

privileged to have lived my dream. I'm very sad but also very

grateful. Like, how lucky? Got to play 11 years for Australia,

three World Cups. "I never thought I was the most talented bloke, I always

wanted to be someone who worked hard so put myself in a position

to play well. I finish on 110 tests which I’m pretty proud of." 

Pocock, whose brilliant poaching performance in the 2011

quarter-final against the Springboks all but won Australia the

match, will finish with 83 caps.

"Not how I thought I would end. Just cop it on the chin,"

said the 31-year-old flanker. 

"I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunities I have had in

the Wallabies jersey and for the opportunities rugby has given

me.

"As an immigrant moving to Australia it has given me so much

opportunity. I am grateful for the support I have had in

Australia and family and friends in Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans all

around the world."

Both players pointed to the performance of teenage centre

Jordan Petaia on Saturday as evidence that the future of

Australian rugby was bright. 

Fullback Kurtley Beale has signalled his intention to play

on at test level and he chose to pay tribute to Michael Cheika,

whose five-year reign as coach is also almost certainly at an

end.

"One of the best things about him is that you become a

better footballer under him, but overall, when you reflect, you

become a better person under his guidance," the 30-year-old

said.

"It's a very powerful thing to have as a person. His legacy

will 100 per cent live on in this gold jersey." 

Reuters

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