Melbourne Rebels sign Australia star Will Genia on two-year deal
Last Updated: 15/08/17 9:49am
Australia scrum-half Will Genia has signed a two-year deal with the Melbourne Rebels.
The 29-year-old had been expected to return to Queensland Reds, following his spell with French club Stade Francais.
Salary cap issues may have played a part in his decision, with Genia's deal worth about $627,000 a season, with payment to be split between the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) and the Rebels, according to local media.
"It's the unfortunate nature of the situation, that's where I always wanted to go back and play but that's just the circumstances that we were given," Genia told reporters at a Wallabies training camp in Sydney on Tuesday.
"I guess it's because I came back at such an awkward time.
"At the end of the day, I'm happy with my decision. I don't have any bad sort of feeling towards the Reds, I'm happy."
The 78-Test veteran joins a team that finished bottom of the Australian conference with a solitary win and was only recently assured of continuing in the competition next season following a protracted process to cull an Aussie side.
The ARU confirmed in April it would axe either the Rebels or Western Force, as Super Rugby scales down from 18 teams to 15 next year.
The governing body only announced its decision to remove the Perth-based side last Friday. However, Force are still fighting to remain and have lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court of New South Wales which will be heard next week.
The Rebels are also looking for a new coach after former Munster boss Tony McGahan ended his four-year tenure at the end of the regular season and Force coach Dave Wessels has been linked with the role, should the Perth franchise loses its legal fight.
The Rebels have already signed former Wallaby Tetera Faulkner, on a two-year deal, while Japan No 8 Amanaki Mafi has agreed a one-year extension.
Genia, who played for Australia in the 2011 and 2015 World Cups, is expected to face the All Blacks in Sydney on Saturday - in this year's Rugby Championship opener.