Genia backs overseas-based stalwarts

Wallabies veteran Will Genia has dismissed criticism of Australia’s overseas-based players.

Last year, the Australian Rugby Union enforced a change in their selection policies, with overseas-based players becoming eligible for national selection permitting that they had played more than 60 Tests for Australia and held a professional contract with the ARU for at least seven years.

It’s a decision that has divided opinion, with coach Michael Cheika originally including four overseas-based players in this year's Rugby Championship squad, although Matt Giteau and Adam Ashley-Cooper have since sustained injuries.

Genia, who plies his trade for Stade Français in the French Top 14, told AAP that overseas-based players wouldn’t be selected if they didn’t have value to add.

‘Apparently we're too old, too slow and don't have anything to offer. That's just people's opinions at the end of the day.

‘People speak about us bringing back experience, but we've got to be playing well enough to be selected so we can contribute to the team. If the coaches and selectors didn't think we were good enough we wouldn't be here.’

Genia is expected to wear the No 9 jersey for the Wallabies in this Saturday’s clash with the Boks in Brisbane.

Photo: Martin Hunter/Getty Images

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