Reds keep Kerevi for 2019

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

The Reds have staved off the Brumbies' pursuit of Samu Kerevi and re-signed the star centre until the end of 2019.

Kerevi had been linked to ACT as contract negotiations heated up but the 24-year-old opted to stay at Ballymore.

While retaining Kerevi is a significant coup the length of the extension and Kerevi's comments on Thursday indicate he may be headed elsewhere at the end of next year.

"I'm excited to stay in Queensland for one more year, my family was a big factor in staying," Kerevi said.

"The young boys coming through the club is what keeps me at the Reds.

"I see the potential - not long ago I was in their shoes so to have one more year with them will be special."

Kerevi is the latest of a long list of Queensland signings in the last week.Kerevi is eyeing a World Cup berth. Photo: Getty ImagesIzack Rodda, JP Smith, Filipo Daugunu, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Aidan Toua and Alex Mafi have all re-committed as well and that's a credit to the belief the playing group have in coach Brad Thorn.

"Brad (Thorn) has been awesome in changing the culture and mentality of not just the team but also the organisation.

"In saying that, in any successful team there's always room for improvement."

Next on the agenda for Kerevi is a return to the national fold.

A bicep injury looked to have finished his season but the Wallabies are quietly confident he will figure in a handful of their remaining Tests this year.

"The World Cup is next year and that’s pretty special for any rugby player," Kerevi said.The Wallabies are hopeful Kerevi can return later this year. Photo: Getty Images"It's the biggest stage in World Rugby and that was another driver for me.

"First thing is first and that’s getting back to fitness and playing well for my club and hopefully being picked to represent Australia through the year and into the World Cup.

"Right now my goal is to hopefully make the back-end of the NRC, or even the Club 7’s Series but that all depends on how my rehab goes."

Reds coach Brad Thorn was pleased to retain the "highly respected" centre.

"He has developed into a leader amongst the group and is highly respected within our squad," Thorn said.

"Samu has made a home for himself here at Ballymore and has developed through the Queensland pathway into the player he is today.

"He continues to work hard on his game and I am excited for what the future holds for him at the Queensland Reds."