Kerevi "over the moon" for Paia'aua

International
by Sam Phillips

Samu Kerevi is "over the moon" for fellow Reds centre Duncan Paia'aua, backing him to turn a development group spot with the Wallabies into bigger and better things.

Paia'aua was one of three development players named by coach Michael Cheika named in the squad for the next fortnight.

Should that trio impress at training there is every chance they could feature when the Wallabies take on the Barbarians on October 28, with several stars expected to be rested before setting off for the Spring Tour.

Kerevi has witnessed Paia'aua's growth first hand all season long and after Brisbane City's big win over the Melbourne Rising, he threw his full support behind the 22-year-old playmaker when he spoke to RUGBY.com.au.


"I thought he was exceptional for us at the Reds and he has helped my game improve at 13, partnering with him," Kerevi said.

"He's a ball runner, defensively he is really strong and he keeps working hard off the field.

"I am really glad, I'm over the moon for him, to be honest.

"I believe he deserves a spot in that team and he will push really hard to make the squad."

Kerevi said instilling confidence in Paia'aua had been one of his main motives throughout the Super Rugby season.

"For me it's about trying to drive it into his head that he can be the best number 12," he said.Samu Kerevi has seen Duncan Paia'aua's grow first hand. Photo: Getty Images"I truly believe he can be one of the best and it's just about backing himself in the games.

"Sometimes he might be gun shy or shy to make that big play but he does the simple things really well and it's something that we have been pushing this year.

"He has got the skills and he's a deadly attacker and in defence he is starting to get really good there.

"I want him to back himself when he gets into camp and drive himself to be part of the team."

On a personal front, Kerevi has one goal for the remainder of the season - regain the starting outside centre job.

"I'm really pushing myself to try and get back into the starting squad," he said.Samu Kerevi was in fine form for Brisbane City on Sunday. Photo: Karen Cutler"Myself and Tevita have been pushing each other really hard and that creates good competition in the squad.

"That's where I want to be heading to and wherever I can get any minutes, whether I'm in 13 or 23, I'm backing the boys to move forward."

To achieve that goal his defence must continue to improve and that is not lost on the 24-year-old, after an average showing in the first half of the Sydney Bledisloe.

"Obviously I want to make my defence better," Kerevi said.

"It's something I have been working on with Greysie at the Wallabies and that's going on but with Cheik, he just wants me to back myself when I do get on the field with the Wallabies, whatever minute that may be.

"I love playing for the Wallabies, I'm passionate about it and the team sets the bar so when the finishers come on, we have got to raise it again."

Australia take on New Zealand in Brisbane on Saturday October 21, kicking off at 7pm local, 8pm AEDT, LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Network Ten and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO.

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