Kerevi keen to combine with Beale

The Rugby Championship
by Sam Phillips

Kurtley Beale could be the key to unlocking the best of Samu Kerevi come Bledisloe Cup time, with the latter labelling the former the "X factor" that the Wallabies missed in June.

Kerevi's 2016 Wallabies debut came at a time when Beale was out injured, prior to his departure for Wasps.

That crossing of stars has left the pair with very little on field time together but that will, in all likelihood, change this year with Beale back on deck and Kerevi in career best form this Super Rugby season.

The star outside centre was cut down by injury in the Reds' loss to the Blues but prior to that he was the clear standout 13 in the competition and that was recognised this week, when he was named in the Super Rugby Team of the Year.


"Kurtley is an exceptional player with an exceptional rugby brain," Kerevi said.

"We have been doing a lot of opposed stuff with the boys and trying different combinations in the centres.

"For me, when I do train with Kurtley or train against him just seeing how he plays excites me.

"I know he can bring that X factor to the backline and then we have guys like Israel Folau out back, Tevita Kuridrani and Henry Speight out wide that can finish off amazing tries."Kerevi started to make a serious impression at Test level before injury cut him down last season. Photo: Getty ImagesKerevi said the squad was happy to be past the fitness aspect of Bledisloe Cup preparations, as the team starts to hone in on how they will go about conquering the all powerful, all conquering All Blacks.


"Here in Cessnock we have been training a lot with the team and the team shape," he said.

"it's been really good to see how other boys play in the shape and see how they express themselves throughout the shape - it's really exciting."

Injury has cruelled Kerevi's young career to date.

He cemented his spot as Michael Cheika's go to outside centre after making his Test debut against England last year, only to have an ankle injury in the third Bledisloe Cup Test rule him out of the Spring Tour.

Kerevi was a standout all season long for the Reds. Photo: Getty ImagesThen, after starring for the Reds all season, the syndesmosis injury ruled him out of any June calculations.

He is easing back into full contact this week but remains confident he will be fit and firing next Saturday.

"I guess I don't really reflect on it in a bad way," he said of the injury sustained against New Zealand last year.

"I took the opportunities that I got last year and brought it to this year.

"I want to make sure I take every opportunity this year.

"This group can change history and be part of it, that's what excites me."

Australia takes on New Zealand on August 19 in Sydney, kicking off at 8pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Network Ten and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO. Buy tickets here.

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