Sydney - Wallabies scrumhalf Will Genia believes his stint in European rugby has rejuvenated him and prolonged his career.
Genia has just returned from two years with Stade Français in the Top 14. In his first season in France, he was sidelined for seven months as he underwent intensive rehabilitation on a problematic knee injury.
And the 29-year-old believes the lengthy lay-off allowed him to fully overcome the injury and has subsequently added a few years on to his career while making him hungrier to contribute to Australian rugby.
"I didn't go there and learn anything new, so much. I just come back and feel rejuvenated and feel a bit more buy-in to wanting to make an impact here. So in that sense, I've come back in a better frame of mind," Genia told the Sydney Morning Herald.
"I can say it has extended my career because I was having such problems with my knee. It was only three months I was supposed to miss, but it ended up being seven months, so to rehab it for that extended period just made sure it was good to go."
Meanwhile, Genia has expressed his desire to return to the Reds in Super Rugby where he played before leaving for France.
"I've signed my release from Stade Francais. I've got something in place with the ARU. I just have to have a club to go to," Genia said.
"Of course [I want to play for the Reds]. I've said that right from the start. That's the plan. I'm just hoping it works out that way, because I don't particularly want to play for anyone else."
The Papua New Guinean-born number nine, previously hailed as the 'best in the world for his position' by All Blacks great Justin Marshall, is busy preparing for the Wallabies' clash with Italy on Saturday.
And following the shock 24-19 defeat to Scotland last weekend, Genia admits the criticism from the Australian fans and media is warranted. This, after an angry Facebook post from a Wallabies fan named Jack Quigley went viral.
"As a group at the Wallabies, we can have an impact on people's lives both bad and good. We can change that perception. We take that responsibility with us every time we perform," Genia added.
"To Jack and everyone else, we feel the same way you
do, we're disappointed with the result. We don't go out there to not play