2019 heartbreak leaves sense of unfinished business for Kerevi

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Suntory centre Samu Kerevi says he still has "unfinished business" in Australian rugby after a "heartbreaking" 2019.

Kerevi had one of his best international seasons in 2019 and while the Wallabies had some highlights, including a scintillating opening Bledisloe Cup Test win in Perth, they failed to claim back the trans-Tasman silverware or progress past the World Cup quarter-finals.

The 26-year-old described the 2019 season as "heartbreaking", particularly in their second Bledisloe Test defeat at Eden Park last year.

"That was heartbreaking, the  Bledisloe was heartbreaking for me," he said.

"I felt for us as a team we were really finding our rhythm and for us to lose like that in Eden Park, because everyone felt like you could never win there and we just kind of said, 'Yes', to it because of the way we lost, it's like, 'Yeah it's true.'

"It's hard and credit to the ABs, they're an unreal team. obviously they didn't go where they wanted to go at the World Cup but it was tough to lose like that in New Zealand and then to lose like that at the World Cup was even more heartbreaking, that really sucked as a footy player and as a teammate with those boys.

"Just knowing how much the boys had put in, how much sacrifice they'd put in not just on the field but off the field, how much sacrifice they had for their families and not to be with their families and kids.

"I'm lucky I don't have kids but my partner and my family not seeing me for months on end, I know it was harder for them and their kids and then to come up short like that it's definitely unfinished business and you want to have another crack.

"The awesome thing about the Bledisloe it's basically every year so you want that cup and you want that Championship. It's always felt like it's unfinished business."

Kerevi has been open about his desire to return to the Test arena but in making a decision to head to Japan has been at peace with Australia's eligibility rules.

"I would always put my hand up to play Wallabies and that, because for me it's the pinnacle of the sport playing for your country and Australia is my country.

"I just can't because of the eligibility rules and to be honest, I'm all for the eligibility rules in terms of, I see where they're coming from that they want to keep players here and they want to develop their players and see their development and obviously select them and I'm all for it.

"Not joking around, it'd be hard for me to make the team now because of the way some of these young guys are playing. i think they deserve that 12 and 13 jersey as much as anyone.

"If the Wallabies want to keep that rule that's all fine with me. I'm not going to have a cry about it because i want to play for the Wallabies, I'm just going to support from where I am because that's the decision I made."

Kerevi also spoke to the show about the quality of Japanese rugby, how the Reds will handle the departures of Izack Rodda, Harry Hockings and Isaac Lucas and reflected on some of the highlights of the 2013 Lions Series.


3:30 - Kerevi on  the Top League being "refreshing"

12:00 - Kerevi on playing rugby in Australia while Top League is suspended

19:50 - Kerevi on the sense of unfinished business

25:50 - Kerevi looks back on 2013 Lions Series