Wal­la­bies to put their trust in sparky Samu

The Cairns Post - - CLASSIFIEDS - JAMIE PAN­DARAM

HE could rip Wales apart in at­tack or be ex­posed in de­fence, but Samu Kerevi has been backed by the Wal­la­bies to play a cru­cial 80 min­utes this week­end hav­ing not started a Test since June.

Kerevi will be mark­ing Wales’ most dan­ger­ous player, Jonathan Davies, in a bat­tle that will have a huge bear­ing on the re­sult at Prin­ci­pal­ity Sta­dium.

Kerevi tore his bi­cep in a match for Queens­land in July and ini­tially was ruled out for the year.

But he was able to heal quicker than ex­pected, re­turn­ing to the Test arena a fort­night ago against the All Blacks and re­mind­ing all of his game-break­ing abil­i­ties with some im­pres­sive runs in a 20minute cameo off the bench.

With Reece Hodge and Te­vita Kuridrani un­avail­able for the tour through in­jury, Kerevi is set to start in the No.13 jersey, with Is­rael Fo­lau shift­ing to the back three once more.

Kerevi’s ri­val Davies has also just re­turned from longterm in­jury.

The 2017 British & Ir­ish Lions player of the se­ries against the All Blacks in­jured his an­kle play­ing against the Wal­la­bies last Novem­ber, and only re­turned to the Test arena last week­end against Scot­land, scor­ing a try in Wales’ 21-10 win.

The out­side cen­tre po­si­tion is the most dif­fi­cult to de­fend in, but Wal­la­bies de­fence coach Nathan Grey says Kerevi will be up to the task of play­ing the full game.

“Def­i­nitely, if he is picked in that po­si­tion, no doubt at all, he’s got a re­ally good un­der­stand­ing,” Grey said.

“We did a lot of work in the June se­ries against Ire­land where we were pretty frugal around our de­fence and got a lot of con­fi­dence out of that.

“Un­for­tu­nately the in­jury saw him miss out play­ing a lot of Su­per (Rugby), but he’s come back into the fold and with the in­jury to Reece Hodge it prob­a­bly fast-tracked him a lit­tle bit.

“He’s taken that in his stride very well, pre­pared very well.

“He’s had that long lay-off but he showed in the 20 min­utes he played against New Zealand in that sec­ond half what he can bring to the ta­ble, both sides of the ball, and that’s ex­cit­ing.”

Grey is well aware of the threat posed by Davies. Sexy Naughty Girl 0426 586 275

Pic­ture: GETTY IM­AGES

BIG JOB: Samu Kerevi is ready to takes on Wales for the Wal­la­bies.

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