Rugby rehab helped Kerevi's seamless Test comeback

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

A rehab approach focused on rugby rather than running has helped Samu Kerevi seamlessly slot back into the Wallabies fold.

Kerevi will start at 13 for the Wallabies against Wales, his first Test start in almost five months after suffering a biceps injury in June.

He didn’t miss a beat in his 20-minute cameo against the All Blacks in Yokohama, showing his trademark spark.

The 25-year-old said that successful return was largely down to a new rehab focus targeted at exactly that, ensuring he was as close to match fit as possible.

“Our trainer at the Reds took a different approach to what I have had in the last couple of years in rehab,” Kerevi said.

“That was a lot about getting fitness back. For him, it was more about explosiveness.

“I would do fitness on Monday and Friday which were the hard days. Every other day was about speed and power in the gym.

“He was more worried about getting me back on the field to play in this Spring tour and not preparing me for pre-season.”

That he suffered an arm injury meant his base fitness was not eroded and helped Kerevi work on his power.

"I watched my eating. Trying to eat healthier. But then through training it was about explosive speed and repeat efforts,” he said.

“A lot of up-down stuff that was more game specific instead of running sessions.

“Obviously I had to get the leg load back but I was lucky enough that it was an upper body injury so doing squats and that was normal for me.

“I have done my ankle four times, that is a lot harder.”

Returns don’t come much tougher than a Bledisloe Test but Kerevi’s next assignment - against a bruising Welsh centre pairing of Hadleigh Parkes and British and Irish Lions star Jonathan Davies - won't be easy either..

Kerevi has taken note of Davies’ defensive strength as well and is confident he can match it with his opposite numbers on both sides of the ball.

“Their whole backline is dangerous,” he said.

“He (Davies) has played Lions and that. He is a player to be watched. Defensively that is one thing I worked over in my rehab stages. 

“So depending on who I come against I am ready and up for it.”

Australia takes on Wales in Cardiff on Saturday November 10, kicking off at 5:20pm local, Sunday 4:20am AEDT, LIVE on beIN Sport channel 513 and SBS.