Genia backs Horwill in Reds return

Queensland Reds halfback Will Genia is thankful James Horwill is back as the veteran pair aim to avoid ending their Super Rugby careers with an unwanted record.

The Reds head into this weekend’s clash with South Africa’s Cheetahs in Bloemfontein in last place and with just one win from eight games in 2015 and a woeful points differential of -116.

Memories of the Reds’ worst Super Rugby campaign, when they picked up only two wins from 13 games in 2007 under former coach Eddie Jones, will still sting for Horwill and Genia, members of that squad.

Former Wallabies skipper Horwill was recalled to the squad after sitting out last week’s clash against the Bulls in Pretoria as he served his suspension for being sent off for the second time this season.

Genia said Horwill still had a lot to offer a desperate Reds team, including a collective confidence boost.

“It’s great to have James come back into the fold,” Genia said from Johannesburg.

“Just his presence. Obviously he captained the club and he was there when we won the competition in 2011 as the leader of this side.

“Just that presence and that knowledge and experience he’ll bring come gametime will definitely benefit the group.”

Genia said the possible return of Wallaby James O’Connor from a calf injury would be another huge step in the right direction for the ailing Reds.

“James will add an enormous amount to the group,” Genia said.

“Plenty of flair, X-factor, a lot of talent and the ability to beat defenders one-on-one, create space for other players.”

Genia believed the Reds could take some heart from their 43-22 loss to the Bulls last week.

“The scoreline sort of blew out at the end there, but if you pick the game apart, we scored four tries which is a big positive and very well constructed tries at that,” he said.

“The positive thing is we’re playing good footy in patches.

“It’s a positive, but it’s disappointing in a sense that we’ve got to start putting it together for longer periods in the game.

“I do think we’re building. The group is buying into how we want to play we’ve just got to clean up little errors.”

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