Will Genia has secured a new deal with the Queensland Reds, days after an announcement he would sign with the Western Force.
The camaraderie of singing the team song after Queensland's victory over the Blues in Auckland on Friday helped convince star Reds halback Will Genia to stay put.
Genia this morning fronted a press conference to explain his decision to reverse plans to sign for the Western Force in order to sign a three-year deal with the Reds, despite missing out on a potential cash windfall.
The Force had reportedly lured Genia west for 2013 with a $600,000-per-season deal, with the QRU saying it could not match the offer.
Genia told reporters this morning the Reds had not increased their offer over the weekend, but that he had changed his mind about moving yesterday following the team's rousing victory over Auckland on Friday night.
"I'd been thinking about it all weekend... The main reason I wanted to stay was just the feeling of satisfaction I got after that game against the Blues," Genia said.
"And just the scary thought of not feeling that way after a game playing for another club.
"That was when I knew that I couldn't leave."
Reds coach Ewen McKenzie said Genia had told him after the Blues game of his decision to move to Perth, and he had already resigned himself to looking at "plan B".
The Reds announced Genia's departure on Saturday night, before McKenzie received a late call yesterday afternoon.
"I've always said in rugby, 'Never say never' and sure enough yesterday, late yesterday afternoon, things changed," McKenzie said.
"It's an adaptive business and you move with the times."
Despite missing out on a substantial pay increase, Genia said he was satisfied he'd made the right choice.
"It isn't about money, it's about being happy," the Wallabies No.9 said.
"I'm willing to sacrifice that to stay with my mates and be somewhere I enjoy."
Genia thanked the Force for its understanding, and revealed discussions with fellow senior Queensland players had also played a part in his decision.
"I had a chat with a few of the senior players and told them of my decision (to leave). I'd made my mind up and changed it several times," Genia said.
"Having those discussions with some of the senior players made it quite tough, you know, just to see the way they reacted towards me potentially leaving and how that made me feel.
"And that definitely weighed into my decision."
Genia has signed a three-year deal, but McKenzie said negotiations were ongoing regarding the ARU portion of his contract, amid talk of a Super Rugby salary cap.
The Reds coach said he hoped Genia's decision to stay could influence other players currently negotiating contracts to stick at the Reds.
"You've got to enjoy going to work, and having known quantities around you - friends, teammates - that total environment is quite important," McKenzie said.
"There's no doubt that Will staying ... hopefully that will have a flow on effect. But we don't actually have that many guys left to sign."