Fiji-born blockbusting centre Samu Kerevi doesn’t believe that he is the solution to Wallabies’ search for an outside centre after spending much time in the inside position.
The 29-year-old first burst onto the Test scene in 2016 as a dynamic No.13 and reluctant No.12.
Kerevi conceded the reshuffle of moving from inside to outside after top-class centre Len Ikitau got injured while scoring Australia’s opening try in their 34-31 loss to Argentina in the Rugby Championship, robbed the Wallabies of rhythm.
Head coach Eddie Jones now faces the burden of searching for the right answer for a replacement of an inside centre- but Kerevi doesn’t seem to believe he’s the solution.
“It’s funny, through the (Queensland) Reds years I was playing 13 and I actually didn’t like playing 12,” Kerevi told reporters.
“Coming up with the Wallabies, I hated it and Cheik (former coach Michael Cheika) would put me there and obviously the Reds started putting me there.”
“I’ll do whatever’s best for the team. But we’ve got some depth there. (Izaia) Perese has been playing well for the Waratahs. He’s training the house down, and some other backs that can fill that role. ”
“Obviously Lalakai (Foketi) can play there, shift from 12 to 13.”
The Viseisei lad from Lautoka said the Wallabies will continue trying to play attacking, instinctive rugby, like that produced by lively winger Mark Nawaqanitawase, who was Australia’s stand-out.
Nawaqanitawase’s quick tap and burst created the opportunity for Cooper and Kerevi to put Ikitau over after just four minutes, and then his 95-metre intercept try almost gave the Wallabies the winner but the Pumas snatched the victory with a late one.
“Eddie wants us to be like that,” Kerevi said.
“He wants us to play the game fast. We just didn’t have enough moments in the game to hold onto the ball to do that, to connect with each other through phases and get into that deep-phase count.”
“Once we get that ball, we can move it really well. The game we want to play is there. Just little things, like the breakdown, little errors, are not allowing us to fully play that.”
“But the feeling is positive. We want to keep pushing the boundaries in our skill set. We’re not going to find out (the limits) if we just do it at training. We’ve got to do in Test matches as well.”
“We’ve got to learn some hard lessons. There’s a big goal at the end of the year and we’re striving for that and we don’t want to leave any stone unturned. We want to play as hard as we can.”