Genia to leave Reds for Stade Francais

Wallabies and Queensland Reds halfback Will Genia has signed a three-year contract to join Top 14 club Stade Francais after this year’s Rugby World Cup.

“We can confirm that Will Genia will be part of our squad after the World Cup (which ends October 31). It’s a great signing and one which will strengthen our squad in a vital position,” Stade Francais president Thomas Savare said on radio France Bleu 107.1.

Genia had been linked with a move to Europe for months but Bath were firm favourites to sign the 27-year-old, who even signed a pre-contract with the English Premiership side.

“There had been discussions,” admitted Savare. “We had to talk to Bath and found a solution that makes everyone happy.”

Genia has played for the Reds throughout his eight-year professional career, winning a Super Rugby title with the side in 2011.

Nick Phipps and Nic White have been preferred in the halfback role for the Wallabies over the past year, Genia also troubled by injury in recent seasons.

Genia will also face fierce rivalry for a starting position at Stade Francais, currently sitting on third in the Top 14, with Julien Dupuy or Julien Tomas already in the roster while Jerome Fillol, 37, is likely to retire at the end of the season.

“It will spark some competition and that’s always good,” explained Savare.

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