Will Genia - Rugby

Partner’s name: Vanessa 
Child’s name: Olivia (3)

With more than 110 games for the Queensland Reds in Super Rugby and closing in on 100 Wallaby Tests, Will Genia has been one of world rugby’s premier scrum halves for more than a decade. Since his debut as a 19-year-old for the Reds back in 2007, the Port Moresby born strong man has carved out a career that has seen him captain his country and also be named the Wallabies long term vice-captain. He was once described by former All Black half back and legend Justin Marshall as the best rugby player in the world for his position. This year, Will moved to play for the Rebels in the Super Rugby competition, after a couple of seasons playing professionally in France for Stade Francais. The former Australian Super Rugby Player of the Year has carved out an enviable career, and one he hopes makes daughter Olivia proud. “The last things I think about before I go out and play is my daughter – I want her to be proud of me and the things that I do,” Will says. “When Olivia is a little bit older, she can look back and be proud and say he was a good player, he worked hard … that’s something that really motivates me.”

Do you find it hard spending time away from Olivia during the season? Very hard, because she’s the one thing that makes me the happiest out of anything. So being away from her is quite difficult, but more than anything it makes me really enjoy the time when I’m with her and to make the most of it. - Will 

On game days, do you like to relax with Olivia or do you try to keep away from the family? I definitely try to relax with her, I used to be someone who took game day quite seriously and to stick to routine but now I just treat it like any other day. Being a dad is 24/7, I will just wake up when she wakes up and do everything she wants to do and then at some point closer to kick off just try to focus on the game. - Will 

Does she understand what you do and take an active interest? She does actually. She’s comes to a fair few games, especially late ones. She actually cheers and enjoys being at the game and for me personally it definitely makes me happy when she’s there. - Will

How much has your life changed since she was born? Well, its flipped it on its head. It's definitely made me a better person because you learn the true meaning of being selfless. Your life is no longer just being about yourself and everything you do is for her. You want to make her happy and ensure she’s provided for. Rugby takes a backward step and it's probably why I’m enjoying my Rugby more. - Will 

What's been the toughest thing to adjust to since she was born? Not having time for yourself ... but I actually enjoy she has all of my time. When you watch her, everything is new for her and to be a part of that experience ...  it’s just an amazing feeling. - Will 

What is your favourite activity with her? I like going to the beach with her, she’s a little beach baby! She doesn’t even wear swimmers or anything, she just gets nude and runs straight into the water and she pees like a boy when she’s at the beach too…standing! - Will

Any memorable moments with her? After we beat the All Blacks in Brisbane, I think it was around 10.30pm and she was on the field with me which was amazing, Being able to share something that was really important to me with her was incredible. - Will

 

Sports Dad of the Year 2018
 
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