Genia’s Stade debut delayed

Wallabies halfback Will Genia has been left out of the Stade Francais side to face Leicester in the European Champions Cup due to a knee injury.

Genia only joined the Paris club on Tuesday, 10 days after playing in the World Cup final defeat to New Zealand.

The 27-year-old, 66-capped Genia has yet to shrug off the effects of a knee injury he first suffered in the World Cup semi-finals.

“It’s nothing serious,” said Stade coach Gonzalo Quesada ahead of the Friday’s (Saturday AEDT) clash in England.

“He will continue his recovery and he will be available to train with the squad from next week.”

Genia could make his debut for Stade in the European Cup clash against Munster on November 22.

“I am a competitor – I am not here for a vacation,” said Genia.

Leicester, the champions in 2001 and 2002, have lost just once in 28 home games in the competition.

Two of those wins came against the Paris giants in 2006 and 2007.

“Friday night under the lights at Welford Road, the Champions Cup, Leicester Tigers v Stade Francais, these are the big fixtures that everyone wants to be involved in,” Tigers director of rugby, Richard Cockerill told

“It’s going to be a big start for us. It’s the first game of this season’s tournament — we kick the whole thing off — which is kudos to us.”

Leicester go into the game on the back of a 19-6 loss to Exeter last weekend in what was their first defeat in the English Premiership this season.

French Top 14 champions Stade have never won the European Cup, finishing runners-up on two occasions — in 2001 and 2005.

In the 2001 final, they were edged out 34-30 by Leicester in an epic clash in front of 75,000 people in Cardiff.

“We can’t wait for Friday’s match even if we haven’t had a lot of time to rest,” said Stade skipper and Italian star Sergio Parisse in reference to Sunday’s gruelling 14-9 win over Top 14 leaders Clermont.

Leicester and Stade have been drawn in Pool Four alongside two-time European champions Munster and Italian strugglers Treviso.

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