Kerevi more than just a wrecking ball

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Underestimate Samu Kerevi at your peril.

That’s the message Rob Horne had for his opponents on Friday afternoon, as the first Test against England nears.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has opted for the Fijian duo of Kerevi and Tevita Kuridrani in the midfield, but Horne said anyone who thought Kerevi was just a bashing, crashing attacker would be sorely mistaken.

“I wouldn’t want to pigeonhole him because he can certainly do it all and he’s shown that consistently for last couple of years now, the quality player that he is and we expect him to do that tomorrow night,” he said.

“Especially at home in front of family and friends will be a great occasion for him and Dane Haylett-Petty as well.

“He’s probably been the form outside back in Australia Super Rugby .For him to get the chance to show what he’s about is really exciting.”

Horne said Kerevi’s versatility was reflective of the entire Wallabies backline, with Cheika taking a ‘fluid’ approach to his defensive structures.

The Wallabies combinations are gelling. Photo: Getty Images“The way Cheik picks his teams, we can all slot in everywhere,” Horne said.

“Rugby is a fluid game, there is structures but it’s organised chaos for a lot of the game.

“Depending on where the ball is, everyone can slot into each other's role which is really important for the way we play the game.”

With two debutants in their starting backline, Horne said there was a time of familiarising players with one another but after two weeks in camp, he was confident they would gel well.

“LIke anyone with new players coming in, you have to learn what they want ,what they like to do and what they want from you and what you want from them,” he said.

“There's always a bit of a learning period of time but to have two weeks to prepare for a Test is pretty unusual, so we feel pretty good about it all.”

Horne said the excitement in the group was palpable ahead of the first Test, nowhere more obvious than in coach Michael Cheika.

“We’re just keen to get out there and play,” he said.

“Cheik hasn’t had a team for six months so he’s full of beans.

"We’re keen to get out there and go well, those guys that have come in they’re in outstanding form and that’s why they’re there.”