Patient Perese to return for Queensland Country

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Queensland Country speedster Izaia Perese is biding his time for a maiden Test appearance, as he prepares for an NRC return this weekend.

Perese was one of three Wallabies squad members, along with Rory Arnold and Lopeti Timani, who returned to Australia ahead of the Wallabies’ clash with Argentina, in a bid to tally more game time in the provincial competition.

He was a frustrated onlooker in Bloemfontein, as the Wallabies ground out another draw with the Springboks, but only because he believes Australia has more to show.

“It was quite frustrating because I know the boys have got so much potential and they showed it in snippets.

“Just to realise they’ve got so much more to offer is exciting at the same time.”

The utility back, who played mainly on the wing in Super Rugby this season, says he feels he could handle the Test arena, but isn’t being presumptuous about being given that opportunity.

“To get to the next level, which is wallabies, it’ll happen when my time is ready and I guess I have to be ready for that.

“I feel ready. Can’t say it any other way. If the opp came I’d grab it with both hands.”

Though it means his chances at a Test debut have been pushed back, the 20-year-old is keen to tally some decent minutes.

“I’ve been training hard, training well, but to get game time was my main priority,” he said.

“You can only do so much training before your feet get real itchy again.

“Every time I go on tour with those blokes (the Wallabies) in Australia or overseas I find myself in a better place on each tour every week.

“The boys are so good to me and that’s why I love it.:”

Perese returns to a flying Queensland Country side, enjoying its best season on record, ahead of a clash with a building NSW Country.

Though he would seem an obvious starter, Perese said he wasn’t out to steal anyone’s spot.

“I feel I’m not coming into take over anything,” he said.

“I’m here to keep the boys at the same level. I’m not here to take anyone’s position.

“I’ll be happy enough if I get a spot in the team, whether it’s on the bench or starting.”

“The backs, the forwards, they’re all putting their hands up and it’s definitely well overdue.

“Last year, we had a lot of potential but didn’t see it through but this year it’s exciting and it’s showing out on the field.”

Queensland Country take on NSW Country on Saturday October 7, kicking off at 5pm AEDT.