Kuridrani to start with finishing mindset

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Tevita Kuridrani wants to bring a finishing mentality from the get go, after being recalled to the Wallabies’ starting team for the second Bledisloe Test.

Kuridrani shored up the Wallabies’ defensive stocks when he replaced close friend Samu Kerevi at half-time in Sydney and that combined with his match fitness put him in the frame to start.

“I think Cheik was really happy with my impact when I came off the bench last week, the energy that I brought to the team and probably I think defensively he was happy with the way I controlled our defence and stuff like that,” Kuridrani said.

"Cheik wanted our finishers to be able to come in and take the game to another level and finish it off.

"That was our mindset, especially the bench players, so when we got in we're just trying to give our all."

Tevita Kuridrani has been recalled into the Wallabies starting team. Photo: Getty ImagesKuridrani said he had been talking plenty with Kerevi this week, the pair both analysing the defensive effort with coach Nathan Grey ahead of this weekend.

“It's just about, mostly it's just one on one tackles, it's just need to get that right but we've been helping each other out this week, so should be good,” he said.

“I think our midfield defence needs to tighten up.

“Last week wasn't really where it should be.

“Playing against the All Blacks, they're a really good attacking team so you need your best defence, you need to be spot on.

“We've been really working on that this week, especially me coming back in the starting team, working with Kurtley at 12 so we've been working on that this week.”

Something Kuridrani could shed little light on was his future beyond this season, with the Brumbies centre yet to re-sign with the ARU.

Tevita Kuridrani in action for the Brumbies. Photo: Getty ImagesThere was speculation towards the end of 2016 that Kuridrani was being sought by French clubs, but he is yet to finalise a new deal anywhere.

Though the Brumbies have been optimistic about his retention through the year, Kuridrani was non-committal about whether he would remain in Australia.

“At the moment, I don't know (how close I am to re-signing), still in talks with the ARU but nothing's really come out yet or anything,” he said.

“I'm just worrying about my rugby and I'll let the managers, my manager and stuff do that.”

The Wallabies fly to Dunedin on Thursday afternoon ahead of Saturday’s clash with the All Blacks.

Australia takes on New Zealand on Saturday night in Dunedin, kicking off at 5:35pm AEST LIVE on FOX SPORTS.