Will Genia paints a graphic picture of the danger bruising Hurricanes star Julian Savea will present to the Queensland Reds on Saturday night.
The Wallabies halfback likens the in-form Savea to Israel Folau – a ball-running threat with the ability to blow the Reds away at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium.
Genia believes there are few tougher Super Rugby players to tackle than the 105kg All Blacks winger – who scored a try, set one up and made six tackle busts in last Friday’s 39-20 win over the Blues.
“He’s going to be a handful,” he said on Monday.
“He’s an exceptional player and has been outstanding the last few years.”
While the Reds are set to welcome raw-boned flyer Dom Shipperley back from injury, it’s the smaller Rod Davies who will have the huge task of marking Savea on the right wing.
But Genia says it will be a team effort – starting with himself and fellow kicker Quade Cooper – to deny the ever-improving 23-year-old.
“He’s like an Izzy Folau,” the Reds vice-captain said.
“They can only be invited into the game by the opposition with how we play towards him.
“We have to be smart and limit his opportunities and not let him get up a head of steam.”
Queensland failed miserably in a concerted attempt to restrict Folau in their round two 32-5 hammering by the NSW Waratahs.
Back then they failed to kick to open spaces and contest possession in the air with Folau, who scored two tries.
Another loss – the Reds’ third in a row – would effectively end their run of three straight finals finishes.
But they have played their best rugby against New Zealand sides in recent seasons, winning 11 of their past 14 trans-Tasman clashes.
Inside centre Mike Harris is set to return from an achilles problem while the Hurricanes, coming off three straight wins, should have rugged forwards Ben Franks and Brad Shields back.