Will Genia
Will Genia Bradley Kanaris / Getty Images

Genia out for six months

RUGBY: Will Genia's extraordinary season-long work-load came to a crushing end after the Wallabies captain's curse struck for the third time during the game against South Africa in Perth on Saturday night.

The halfback, who had played every minute of every game he had started for both the Queensland Reds and the Wallabies, is facing six months on the sidelines after scans confirmed he had ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee.

The 24-year-old was carried off with 11 minutes to go in the come-from-behind 26-19 win against the Springboks, the Wallabies' first victory in the inaugural Rugby Championship following two losses against the All Blacks.

Genia was the stand-in captain following the season-ending injuries to regular captain James Horwill (hamstring) and the man who replaced him, David Pocock (knee).

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans joked he would not attach a '(c)' next to anyone's name next week after losing Horwill, Pocock and now Genia.

"I don't think we will have a formal leader any more (the two other leadership group members Pat McCabe and James O'Connor are also sidelined)," he said.

"Every position we've given a title to we have broken. We might just have someone lead the group out of the tunnel and have a meeting with a few good men on Monday morning to discuss the week."

Western Force veteran Brett Sheehan, who trained with the Wallabies in Perth, will replace Genia in the squad, while Melbourne Rebels No.9 Nick Phipps will start against Argentina on the Gold Coast on Saturday.

It will be Sheehan's first appearance for Australia since 2008.

Genia will not be the only player missing against the Pumas, a game in which Nathan Sharpe looks set to take over the captaincy.

Lock Sitaleki Timani suffered a grade one hamstring injury in his man-of-the-match performance against the Springboks, but it's expected he will miss only one week.

While he admitted Genia's loss would be significant, Deans backed Phipps to step up as a starting halfback.

"Will Genia is not there, and Will Genia is a special player, no doubt," Deans said. "But as we have seen in recent times, it is a team game. No-one can do it by themselves.



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