Australia vice-captain Will Genia has departed Top 14 side Stand Francais and returned home, signing a two-year deal with the Australia Rugby Union.
The 29-year-old has spent the last two seasons in Paris, where he helped lead the French side to European honours last season, with their Challenge Cup title win in May.
Now, the Melbourne Rebels have announced the acquisition of the coveted scrum-half via social media.
— Melbourne Rebels (@MelbourneRebels) August 15, 2017
The two-year deal with keep Genia at the club until 2019 and in a statement on the Rebels website, CEO Baden Stephenson expressed his joy at signing the experienced international.
“Will is a proven winner who has performed consistently in every team has played in at Super Rugby, European and international level.
“We are delighted he will join the Rebels and have great confidence that his skill set, experience and leadership will complement our squad very well.”
Bringing over 100 Super Rugby caps with the Queensland Reds, Genie is certainly one of the big signings of the off-season for the southern hemisphere franchises and the player is keen to get started with his new club.
“I’m very much looking forward to making an impact at the Melbourne Rebels.
“First and foremost my job is to perform and contribute with my playing ability and assist the team in achieving success.
“After that, it’s a great opportunity to bring my experience and the knowledge I’ve acquired over the years to help with the club moving forward.
“It’s also an exciting opportunity to make a greater impact on rugby in Australia with a new club that still has so much to achieve.”
Before linking up with his new club, Genia has the small matter of Australia’s Bledisloe Cup clashes with the All Blacks.
The world champions make the trip west to Sydney’s ANZ Stadium on Saturday, followed by a return fixture one week later at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium. With a third clash scheduled for Oct 21st in Brisbane, Genia will have his hands busy before he finally links up with his new club.