Kerevi demands start for Wales Test

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has challenged Samu Kerevi to continue to demand a starting Test spot, keeping him at inside centre to face Wales.

Bernard Foley (illness) and Will Genia (calf) come back into the starting side, with Karmichael Hunt (neck) coming onto the bench.

Initially it seemed Hunt would go to fullback, pushing Kurtley Beale into 12.

However, Kerevi’s form against Japan forced Cheika’s hand, keeping him in the starting XV for the 23-year-old’s first game in the Northern Hemisphere.

Beale has been named at 15, with Hunt on the bench for his first Test since June.

Samu Kerevi is on his first Spring Tour. Photo: Getty Images“I thought he played really well on the weekend, to be honest,” Cheika said.

“They played well together in the combination.

“They'll have a different five-eighth this week but I thought he did enough to warrant (another start).

“I think he's a very, very good player Samu, he hasn't had it all hi way this year, so I'm eager to see him fight back and try and get a spot in the team.”

While Beale will be at fullback again, Cheika said the utility would still be switching into a second playmaking role in attack, regardless of the number on his back.

“I think now we know a bit about what all those guys can do in the different positions,” he said.

Kurtley Beale's role won't change much at fullback. Photo: Getty Images“We've got good options, that's one really good thing for us around how we can set up, because Karmichael can set up at fullback, can set up in the centre, Samu can go 12, 13, Hodge can play pretty much anywhere now, Beale's got 12,15, 10 if we need him.

"We've got the ability to move and match. He'll (Beale) still play in that playmaker's role predominantly. A whole lot won't change for him.

“There'll be some changes around how we set up off set piece but once we get into the attack, he'll play in the standard playmaking role.”

The return of experienced duo Foley and Genia will be a handy boost for a Wallabies team light on Northern Hemisphere experience.

Foley will take the goal-kicking duties back along with the flyhalf jersey, as Reece Hodge shifts back to the wing, pushing Henry Speight onto the bench.

Australia takes on Wales on Saturday November 11, kicking off at 5:15pm local, Sunday 4:15am AEDT LIVE on beIn Sports and SBS.


IN: Will Genia, Karmichael Hunt, Bernard Foley

OUT: Lopeti Timani, Curtis Rona, Joe Powell

Wallabies to take on Wales 

1. Scott Sio (40 Tests)

2. Tatafu Polota-Nau (79 Tests)

3. Sekope Kepu (88 Tests)

4. Rob Simmons (79 Tests)

5. Adam Coleman (19 Tests)

6. Ned Hanigan (10 Tests)

7. Michael Hooper (c) (76 Tests)

8. Sean McMahon (23 Tests)

9. Will Genia (vc) (85 Tests)

10. Bernard Foley (vc) (52 Tests)

11. Reece Hodge (21 Tests)

12. Samu Kerevi (15 Tests)

13. Tevita Kuridrani (55 Tests)

14. Marika Koroibete (5 Tests)

15. Kurtley Beale (68 Tests)


16. Stephen Moore (126 Tests)

17. Tom Robertson (16 Tests)

18. Allan Alaalatoa (20 Tests)

19. Matt Philip (1 Test)

20. Ben McCalman (50 Tests)

21. Nick Phipps (59 Tests)

22. Karmichael Hunt (3 Tests)

23. Henry Speight (18 Tests)