Kerevi keeps door open to continue Test career

Rugby World Cup
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies centre Samu Kerevi hasn’t ruled out a return to the international arena as he prepares to head overseas.

With Australia’s quarter-final World Cup exit, Kerevi’s time in the gold jersey is over for now as he heads to Japan to play with Top League side Suntory.

Kerevi has signed a three-year deal with Japanese Top League side Suntory, kicking off at the start of next year.

Under Australia’s current eligibility laws, Kerevi will not be able to play Tests during that time but could return to Australia before the 2023 Rugby World Cup, before his 30th birthday.

Kerevi said he had made peace with that fact but would always be willing to be available for Tests.

“Obviously you always want to put your hand up for the Wallaby jersey,” he said.

“In terms of the law itself, I think it's still a good law, it helps keep guys in Australia and I think they deserve to get the opportunity to play in that jersey. 

“Guys like myself won't be able to put our hand up but I've got nothing towards that.”

He wouldn’t be drawn on whether the disappointment of this campaign gave him a sense of unfinished business, and the motivation to return in 2023, though.

“I can't say too much on that right now, still hurting from this one,” he said.

“I can't look too far ahead, I'm a guy who tries to stay in the moment, I can't even plan holidays so I think that feeling of what we couldn't accomplish is still in there and I can't say much about the future.”

One thing he had no question over post-match was his faith in the Wallabies’ ball-in-hand game plan, which cost them at times against England and also in the pool stages against Wales.

“100 per cent. We have 100 per cent belief in how we want to play, backed our fitness, our skills and our decision making.”

Kerevi said he was looking forward to living closer to his brothers, both of whom live in Japan.

“The biggest part of it (the decision) was my family,” he said.

“My little brother is here for four years attending university with the situation with our family, I didn't get to grow up with him. 

“Oldest brother is here also, he's fluent in Japanese basically a native of this country, still trips me out he can speak fluently.

“This was to be with our brothers who I haven't been with for 20 years now. 

“I'm just happy to be here with them and I'm trying to focus on that and positive things that come out of it.”

The Wallabies will fly back to Australia on Monday.