Genia to lead Reds

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Genia to lead Reds

Will Genia will replace injured Reds skipper James Horwill for the remainder of the Super 14.

The move sees the 22-year-old becoming the youngest player to lead a Queensland team since Mark Loane in 1965. The Wallabies scrumhalf is 10 months younger than Horwill was when he first led the side in 2008.

Horwill suffered a season-ending knee injury in Friday’s 41-20 win over the Crusaders and will also miss the Tri-Nations.

Rebels shopping spree to pick up

The Rebels will have a better opportunity to make more signings next month after the ARU shortened their deadline for Australian provinces to contract their players.

The Rebels have announced former England pivot Danny Cipriani as their only signing to date, but more should be made in March after they have successfully argued to the ARU that the player deadline for Australian provinces was unfair.

The original date was set for 31 May, but the ARU have now brought it forward to 15 March for the teams to commit their players.

From then onwards, the Rebels will be allowed to sign any Australian players not contracted for 2011 for their debut Super Rugby campaign next season.

The Rebels’ wish list includes five Wallabies; Brumbies centre Stirling Mortlock, Waratahs flyhalf Berrick Barnes, Western Force flank David Pocock, Reds wing Peter Hynes and Waratahs prop Benn Robinson.

Force get vital boost

The Western Force have signed Scott Staniforth and David Hill to bolster their injury-hit squad.

The Force have suffered an injury crisis in the last two weeks, which has seen them lose David Pocock (finger), Richard Brown (shoulder), Cameron Shepherd (thigh), Ryan Cross (shoulder), Mark Bartholomeusz (neck) and André Pretorius (hamstring).

They then attempted to loan Staniforth from his Japenese club Yokogawa on a short-term deal last week, but the ARU denied this move, saying they don’t want players committed to overseas clubs representing Australian teams.

However, Yokogawa have withdrawn from the Japanese league, which made Staniforth a free agent. This allowed the former Wallabies to join the Force on a four-week deal.

The Force have also signed former All Blacks pivot David Hill, who will replace Pretorius in the squad.

Some more good news for the Force is that Cross and Bartholomeusz are expected to recover from their respective injuries in time for their clash against the Chiefs on Saturday.

This thread will be updated throughout the course of the day…