Kerevi keen to keep Reds a mystery

Brisbane Tens
by Sam Phillips

There's a sense of mystery about the Reds in 2018 and according to Samu Kerevi, that's just how they like it.

With a new coach and playmaking core among 11 uncapped players in the 26-man squad named for the Brisbane Tens, who will fit in where remains a secret to all but a select few at Ballymore.

What kind of rugby the team will employ is just as ambiguous and Kerevi was giving nothing away when he fronted the cameras on Thursday.

"I guess we want to keep that as a surprise," Kerevi said.

"We have some amazing players in the wide channels.

"Filipo Daugunu, Izaia (Perese) is quicker than most the guys in the squad, but we want to keep how we want to play under wraps until the actual competition."Kerevi will be one of the stars of the Tens. Photo: Getty ImagesAmongst the ambiguity is one sure thing - Quade Cooper will not be part of the teams plans in 2018.

He has returned to Brisbane to begin preseason training with Souths and that's where he is likely to stay for the remainder of the year.

"Obviously it's a tough situation for Quadey," Kerevi said.

"I have known him for a long while and have gotten close with him.

"He's an amazing human being and he's training hard in the offseason.

"He works really hard and I know he will come back stronger."

In both training and games, Cooper was the squad's most vocal presence during his time at the club.Kerevi will lead the Reds at the Tens. Photo: QRU Media/Brendan HertelHis absence has opened the door for others to take the lead and Kerevi has been impressed by those that have risen to the challenge.

"If you look at the squad, it is a young squad," he said.

"During our training sessions there have been guys that we never knew could step up that have.

"That makes life easier for me when I have guys like Duncan (Paia'aua), Chris Feauia-Sautia is stepping up in the centres and working really hard.

"We need that.

"Just because we're a young squad it doesn't mean we have to be quiet."

The likes of Paia'aua and Feauai-Sautia stepping into more prominent roles within the group is a credit to the culture Brad Thorn has instilled, according to Kerevi.

"I came in in January after the Spring Tour and the boys were working hard," he said.

"The foundation was already set with the culture and that has been amazing.

"He has instilled with all the young guys and even the older blokes - they're all training hard and it's been that work ethic that I am really surprised with.

"There are no excuses - guys are just putting their head down and working hard.

"You can see it in the gym - guys aren't cutting corners, they're doing everything they can to further their physical attributes and off the field as well, the guys are a lot closer after the army camp and we still talk about it."

The Brisbane Tens kick off at Suncorp Stadium on February 9, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS. Buy tickets here.