Papua New Guinea Sevens team has called up the younger brother of Wallabies halfback Will Genia, Nigel to play for the visitors over the two-day event which starts Friday at the ANZ Stadium.
Team coach Warren Jennings said they are pulling out all stops to ensure they perform well during the Oceania Sevens which doubles as qualifiers for the Commonwealth Games and the Hong Kong 7s next year.
Nigel arrived into the country on Monday night and had his first hit-out with the PNG team yesterday.
He said he was looking forward to playing some good rugby and assist in the team’s aspirations to finish in the top four in the tournament.
“I think the first game will be tough, when we are up against the Cook Islands,” he said.
“To be honest, I can’t say much because I’ve only just arrived and from what I’ve heard they are training pretty well and looking forward to running out.
“But, if we can play some good rugby and finish in the top four, we should be able to qualify for the Games and the HK 7s.”
Nigel said PNG has the same flair as the other Pacific Island teams and could easily match up if they had the exposure.
“The only thing we are lacking is exposure like Samoa, Fiji, and Tonga. The more we get involved in this kind of tournament the better.”
Nigel has only played for PNG once before, in age-grade rugby so he will be making his debut in 7s come Friday at the ANZ Stadium.
He said linking up with PNG was a recent decision. He was only informed about joining the PNG 7s team last Saturday.
“I’d like to play for PNG but because of my rugby in Brisbane I’ve kinda hold that off for a bit.
“I look forward to running out with the boys on Friday. This is my second time in Fiji, the last time was for holiday. So, this time is for a different reason, but it’s good to be back here.”
Nigel has been concentrating on his club rugby in Brisbane. Last season, he was part of the Queensland Academy and played in the Pacific Rugby against the Fiji Warriors, Samoa A, Tonga A and Japan.
He is the youngest of the three Genia brothers – Wallaby and Queensland Reds’ Will being the middle brother. Their oldest brother, Frank represented PNG in both 7s and XVs.
“We all grew up in PNG and we got all sent to Brisbane to attend boarding school there so we’ve been living there since and play our rugby there.