August 20, 2021
Fiji-born Wallaby Samu Kerevi has returned to the Asutralian camp for the first time since the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Following Australia’s Olympic defeat at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, it appeared that Kerevi’s short stint in Australian colours was over.
But a phone call on the bus back to the village sealed his return to the Wallabies set up. He was called up into the squad for the Rugby Championship, as Reds centre Hunter Paisami expected to leave for the birth of his child.
Kerevi admits a return was the furthest from his mind after their disappointing Olympic Sevens campaign, with the team finishing seventh.
“I got told (about the call-up) after the last game of the Sevens program at the Olympics against Canada,” Kerevi told rugby.com.au.
“(Tim) Walshy gave me a heads up and then I got the call when I got off the bus at the Olympic village."
On his initial return to Australia in the pursuit of an Olympic medal, he was contemptuous with his Wallabies dream being put on hold for the immediate future.
“I didn’t see it coming,” he admitted.
“I hadn’t really spoken to Dave (Rennie) or Scotty (Wisemantel) before that so it was a massive surprise to me.”
“There was plenty of excitement but I still knew I had two weeks of quarantine to come so I kept it to myself.”
“I thought after 2019 with how selection is from overseas, I didn’t think I would get another opportunity so it’s a blessing for me.”
“Anyone overseas wants to put on that gold jersey so it’s a massive blessing and I’m grateful to be in the situation and in this group to help contribute.
“If that opportunity comes knocking, I’ll happily take it.”
His call-up coupled with the Wallabies thumping defeat to the All Blacks last week has re-ignited debate surrounding the 'Giteau Law'.
“I think everyone who’s plying their trade overseas, they always want to put the gold jersey on, they’ll always put their hand up to have that opportunity.”
“I can't speak too much on it since I’m overseas and it would work in my behaviour but I think you’ve got to give those guys at home the opportunity to put the jersey on. They worked really hard to earn that Super Rugby AU competition and ply their trade here,” he said.
By Romeka Romena