His partner in crime is definitely public enemy No 1 in the eyes of New Zealand rugby fans, though where the All Blacks are concerned, Will Genia is the Wallabies playmaker with a target on his back.
Quade Cooper riled All Black captain Richie McCaw - and by proxy the nation - during a sequence of off-the-ball incidents stemming from the Bledisloe Cup test in Hong Kong two years ago and was punished accordingly as he ran the gauntlet at last year's World Cup.
But in a playing sense, the All Blacks consider the Australian halfback as the real irritant, the conduit that must be pressured in the Rugby Championship opener at ANZ Stadium on Saturday.
The 24-year-old veteran of 38 tests is resigned to enduring another difficult 80 minutes at the breakdown where halfbacks are driven to distraction.
"I guess so," Genia said when asked if he expected to be knocked out of kilter.
"The experiences I've had of late is you get taken out a little bit late or you get laid on on the ground at the breakdown. It's not just me, it's what teams are doing to all halfbacks."
Genia took some comfort from the end of the abrasive Jimmy Cowan's All Blacks career, the Southlander was the most physical counterpart he faced in a black jersey but there will be no respite in any team featuring McCaw.
"The breakdown is a massive focus for us," said Genia, revealing no secrets.
"It's traditionally an area where they (All Blacks) always dominate. When they're playing well they're obviously playing well at the breakdown and getting front football for their attack."
After 11 trans-Tasman tests Genia knows the All Blacks are expert at getting under his skin and slowing down the Wallabies' ball recycling in order to set their defensive alignment, so being competitive at the tackle been a priority since the 30-man squad assembled in Sydney.
"If we can work hard at the breakdown, give ourselves good clean ball and work hard to physically dominate that area we'll give ourselves an opportunity," said the Wallabies vice-captain.
To achieve that goal Genia's latest All Black adversary Aaron Smith can expect a challenging Bledisloe Cup debut as David Pocock leads the charge to unsettle the three-test rookie.
Genia said while Smith presented an obvious target he had been impressed with his break through Super Rugby season - a campaign that saw him supplant the Queenslander's friendly rival Andy Ellis and relegate Piri Weepu to the bench.
"He brings a new dimension to the way they play because of his speed or service and speed of foot around the ground," Genia said.
"He gives them quick ball and he's got a great passing game. He'll be a big threat for us around that ruck area and if he's picked to play over a period he'll definitely bring a lot to their group."
Although he has been tracking Smith's progress, Genia's prime focus this week has been building his rapport with Berrick Barnes, the former Reds teammate who has inherited Cooper's role so far this season.
"It's been good, recent history suggests we've done well," Genia said.
The pair started their combination in tricky circumstances as Scotland won the season-opening test in atrocious weather in Newcastle but were more assured on firmer ground against the Welsh.
"We had to work hard on a few things (against Wales) to play the way we wanted I think we did," he said.
"Based on the way we've been training and preparing I'm really happy."
Kurtley Beale, who was only available for the third and final Wales test due to injury, will also slot in as first receiver from fullback to also give the Wallabies a less predictable attacking dimension.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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