Reds undecided on Kerevi's best spot
Cape Town - Although he's made the Wallabies outside centre spot his
own, Samu Kerevi’s regular position at the Reds next season is yet to be nailed
That was the word from Reds head coach Nick Stiles as Kerevi
has split his time between 12 and 13 for the Reds, though every one of his
appearances during the 2016 Super Rugby campaign was at outside centre.
The 23-year-old featured at inside centre in Australia’s
June series against England but has had most of his impact at Super Rugby and
Test level in the number 13 jersey.
Stiles said he was yet to talk to Kerevi about his 2017
plans with plenty of options for the centres spots, including Duncan Paia’aua
at inside and outside contenders National Rugby Championship (NRC) breakout
star Izaia Perese and Campbell Magnay, who replaced Kerevi when he broke his
hand this season.
Karmichael Hunt’s return from injury will also give the Reds
another potential centre option, though he would seem more likely to line up at
“Haven't had a chat yet with Samu around 12 or 13, just
pleasing to see his performances for the Wallabies,” Stiles told the Australian
Rugby Union's official website.
“He's growing every time he pulls on that gold jersey.
“He’s continuing to get better and the other thing that's
good is that he's playing a lot of minutes with Quade Cooper, that is
invaluable for our success next year.
“We do have some selection issues, good selection issues, that
you've got young players like Duncan Paia'aua and Campbell Magnay, Izaia
Perese, that are all really good up and coming footballers, they're all
physical and they're very talented.
“So, it's a good position to be in.”
Perese has been a standout for Queensland Country in this
year’s NRC competition, playing outside centre and could be a contender to play
outside Kerevi if he were to move inside and Stiles said he was.
The teen scored four tries for Queensland Country in the
2016 NRC, after returning from a knee injury that kept him out of Australia's
U20 World Cup side.
“You've seen the valuable experience he's got through that
NRC and how physical he's played,” added Stiles.
“Anyone who's tried to tackle him or anyone who's been
tackled by him knows how physical he is and it’s in his nature is to compete.
“He's already been doing a fantastic job with that, with the
other players over the last few months and I'm really excited about him and how
hard he's going to work through this preseason to get a position.”
The Reds open their 2017 campaign at Suncorp Stadium in
Brisbane against the Sharks on February 24.