Will Genia versus Conor Murray and other key battles that could decide Australia v Ireland

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The Wallabies face Ireland in the first game of their three-match series at the Suncorp Stadium on Saturday (14:00 UAE time).

Ahead of the game, we take a look at three key battles.

Will Genia v Conor Murray

Two quality players. Genia, no doubt, will go down as one of the Wallabies best half-backs ever but has been curtailed by injuries over the past few seasons.

Now fit and firing, the Melbourne Rebels man has the chance to establish himself once more against the number two ranked team in the world.

With good speed, nimble foot work, razor-like pass and a solid step, Genia will need to be at his immaculate best against a player of Murray’s calibre.

Regarded as the best scrum-half in the world, there are few weaknesses evident in the Irishman’s game with crisp passing, unselfish decision-making, accurate box kicking and voracious work-rate at the centre of his broad skillset.

Another humdinger of a duel.

Israel Folau v Rob Kearney

Kearney was one of Ireland’s leading lights during the Six Nations, and at 32, is playing some of the best rugby of his career.

The Leinster man possesses gas, power, good defence, accurate kicking from hand and reliability under the high ball.

One of the best readers of the game and arguably Ireland’s most decorated player, the Louth native will come up against another one of the best full-backs of this era in Folau.

The imposing Waratahs player may have the edge in his attacking prowess going forward – with 32 tries in 62 internationals against Kearney’s 13 in 83, but he’ll need plenty of assistance from his back-line to get the upper hand on a dominant Irish attack.

David Pocock v Peter O’Mahony

Pocock is undoubtedly the player opposition teams most fear in the Wallabies pack due to his ridiculous ability to win turnovers.

But with Ireland possessing a granite-like defence, the 30-year-old will need to step up another level to spark counter-attacking raids.

His nemesis at 6, O’Mahony is the Irish captain and keeps the pack well-organised and is often the tipping point between winning and losing the back-row battle.

With nearly 50 caps to his name, the Munster man shows up all over the pitch and is an outstanding option in the line-out.

Set up to be one of the tightest battles on the pitch.

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