Wallabies midfield with point to prove against Wales

International
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies outside centre Tevita Kuridrani feels he has a point to prove this weekend, donning the 13 jersey for the first time since August.

The outside centre hasn’t played a Test in almost two months, coming off the bench against Argentina in London, with his last start coming against the All Blacks in Sydney.

An injury to good friend Samu Kerevi has given him a chance to start again at 13, and he wants to make the most of it.

Samu Kerevi all smiles ahead of Test debut. Photo: ARU Media/Stu Walmsley“I think this Spring Tour, [there] is probably a point to prove and I think for me, [I’m] just taking my opportunity this weekend and see from there,” he said.

Kuridrani will be pairing up with Reece Hodge for the first time this weekend, against Wales's centre pairing  of Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies, in its 49th outing.

The 25-year-old said he didn’t have to help Hodge too much, despite his rookie status.

“I think Reece is a really talented player and I didn't really have to take care of him or anything but I'll try and help him as much as I can during the game,”- Kuridrani

Kuridrani said Wallabies coach Michael Cheika had asked for him to be more physical and improve his communication in his time out of the 23.

“[It was about] just getting the set piece right, just carrying hard in those first phases and making sure my d's more connected really well, talking to the boys inside and outside me and be more aggressive,” he said.

A handful of Welsh Test players may miss the Wallabies clash. Photo: Getty ImagesFlanker David Pocock said the midfield would be a major focus for the side this weekend, with Wales especially dangerous in that part of the field.

“It's a really big area for us, they [Wales] send a lot of traffic through there, their backs are always pushing up on the outside of their forwards, trying to get that seam between the last forward and the start of the backline so it's big and it's something that we've looked at and we've talked about and we're going to have to be really good at shutting that down,” he said.

“I've got so much faith in Tev, played a lot of rugby at the Brumbies with him, I know what he can do.

“I think it's one of those things, he's defended at 13 for years and years and it's just getting out there and backing your instincts and making those reads, [it’s an] incredibly hard place to defence.”

The Test between the Wallabies and Wales will be screened LIVE on BeIN Sports 3 (Foxtel channel 515) from 1.00am AEDT. Fans can also LIVE stream the match on Foxtel GO (for Foxtel subscribers).

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