British and Irish Lions: Australia scrum-half Will Genia targets set-piece

Last Updated: 06/07/13 10:24am

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Will Genia: Expecting a physical contest in Sydney

Will Genia: Expecting a physical contest in Sydney

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Will Genia says it's crucial that Australia stifle the British and Irish Lions' set-piece in Saturday's series decider.

The Lions have made six changes from the side that lost 16-15 in Melbourne last weekend, with Warren Gatland opting for a side of brute strength rather than subtlety.

Powerful Welsh trio Jamie Roberts, Toby Faletau and Mike Phillips have all been selected in the starting line-up and scrum-half Genia says the Wallabies must target the scrum and lineout.

"The All Blacks like to play really fast, up tempo rugby, they speed everything up, there's very little stoppages during the game so you never have time to catch a breath," said Genia.

"The difference with the Lions is that they really enjoy the physical side of things.

"They're masters of the set-piece, they like to play that stop-start game where they get to the set-piece, get ascendancy and look to take three points wherever they can and assert themselves on the game that way."

"It happens once every 12 years. It's incredible to be a part of the intensity and passion a Lions tour brings to Australia."
Will Genia

Physical

Genia has been carefully managing a knee injury throughout the series, but he still managed to outclass opposite number Phillips in the first Test and knows what Roberts will bring to the side.

"Phillips likes to get his hands on the ball and run and get stuck in," he said.

"He's abrasive, he's physical and that's what he brings to the game. He enjoys the tough challenge of big games and you'd expect him to step up for this one.

"Jamie's a big guy and he was probably in their plans to play right throughout the series if it wasn't for injury.

"He brings that direct running game and he's big and hard to stop, I've played him a couple of times.

"The focus on him is to make sure we tackle low and don't allow him to get too much over the advantage line and get them front foot ball.

"That's been a big focus for us all week. On the back of injury to his hamstring it's good to see him get an opportunity in the last Test."

Privileged

Whatever the outcome of the third Test, Genia admits he feels privileged to have been a part of a Lions series.

While the 2001 Wallabies were initially unaware of what Lions tours meant - their fly-half Steve Larkham has said they thought French players were involved - the 2013 squad have recognised their rarity value from the start.

"I'll never forget this. Living and breathing it now, I feel so lucky, blessed and privileged to be here and be a part of this series," he said.

"It happens once every 12 years. It's incredible to be a part of the intensity and passion a Lions tour brings to Australia.

"It's something I'll look back on and will have fond memories of, regardless of what happens on the weekend. I've loved every second of it."

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