Reds farewell for Horwill, Genia

A fond farewell has been planned for Queensland’s James Horwill and Will Genia at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

But the jury is still out on whether playmaker Quade Cooper may also be playing his final home game for the Reds this weekend.

Queensland coach Richard Graham said a revitalised Reds were focused on sending out Horwill and Genia on the right note on home soil against the highly fancied Chiefs.

Horwill will link with English club Harlequins and fellow ex-Reds captain Genia is off to France’s Stade Francais following the World Cup, ensuring Saturday night’s Super Rugby clash will be their last at their beloved Suncorp Stadium.

“It’s significant to honour those guys in the right way,” Graham said.

“Both leave a legacy at the organisation.”

They run out for the last time in a Reds jersey against the NSW Waratahs in Sydney on June 13, ending a forgettable season for the Reds.

However, it remains to be seen whether Cooper will join them.

He is still in negotiations with the Reds and the Australian Rugby Union but Cooper has the option of taking up a lucrative deal with cashed up French club Toulon.

Graham could not provide an update on talks.

“That’s a conversation with Quade and the ARU really – we have stated our case,” he said.

Cooper hardly appears distracted by the negotiations judging by his stellar return from a broken shoulder blade that inspired Queensland’s 32-10 win over Western Force last weekend.

“He leads by example, he is really good at directing the boys around,” Reds skipper James Slipper said of Cooper after their second win in three games.

“But that performance was from a team orientated gameplan, everyone stood up.”

Slipper dipped his hat to their departing veterans Genia and Horwill but believed a victory would provide a more fitting tribute.

“They have both played over 100 caps for their state – that’s a remarkable achievement in any sport,” he said.

“They have definitely left the club in better hands from when they started.

“Both play with a lot of pride and put their heats on their sleeves.

“It would be nice to send them out winners.”

Horwill stepped aside as skipper at the start of the 2015 Super Rugby season but Slipper said the veteran lock never stopped leading.

“I have been lucky enough to go through this year with James still at the club,” Slipper said.

“It’s been great to learn from someone so experienced and well respected.”

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