Rugby Championship

Cheika warns that Kerevi faces stiff opposition

2017-09-07 22:16
Samu Kerevi (Getty)

Cape Town - Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has brought centre Samu Kerevi back into his matchday 23 to face the Springboks. 

He did, however, say there is some tough competition bearing down on him.

The 23-year-old started in the first Rugby Championship Test against the All Blacks but was dropped for the second due to a lack of match fitness and some poor defensive execution.

Kerevi played well for Brisbane City in the NRC opener last weekend and was rewarded with a Test recall after winger Dane Haylett-Petty's injury.

“He's (Kerevi) one of our best players,” Cheika told Australian rugby's official website.

“Like I said when he got left out, I think it was about getting himself a bit fitter, getting himself right, he's had another couple of weeks to get himself ready.

“It was tough (going) because I feel there's a couple of players who have really come on - Marika Koroibete over the last few weeks has been humming and I don't think he's too far away from a game of footy and also young Perese has been excellent as well.

“It's been a real contest in that back three because there's some versatility where (Curtis) Rona can play at 13 or on the wing and even Perese can play in the centre, that's where he is actually, where he was brought up playing all his football.

“They've both been humming those two guys so it was a tough go but I wanted to give Samu a crack at it because I think he's going to be one of our standouts in the future and the sooner he gets back up to the pace and back into the game environment, proving himself, the better.”

Teams

Australia

15 Israel Folau, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 Sean McMahon, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Scott Sio

Substitutes: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Allan Alaalatoa, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Jack Dempsey, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Samu Kerevi, 23 Curtis Rona

South Africa

15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Raymond Rhule, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Uzair Cassiem, 7 Jaco Kriel, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Beast Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Handre Pollard, 23 Damian de Allende

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