Kuridrani keen to ride WC wave into 2016

He’s starred at a Rugby World Cup and now Tevita Kuridrani wants to make his mark as a senior Brumby.

The Wallabies outside centre is hoping to take his game to a new level this Super Rugby Season after playing a leading role in Australia’s success at the 2015 showpiece.

He capped it off with a try in the final against New Zealand that put the green and gold within touch of victory.

It’s the kind of experience Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham is keen to exploit as he prepares for life after skipper Stephen Moore, who leaves for the Queensland Reds in 2017.

“He’s been telling me to start talking to the young guys because they’ve sort of started to look up to me now,” the softly-spoken Kuridrani said on Tuesday.

“I’ve been doing a little bit at training, trying to practise that and trying to work off (co-captain) Christian (Lealiifano).”

While he has established himself as the Brumbies’ first-choice centre, he does have some competition with the return of Andrew Smith.

The 30-year-old experienced campaigner is back in Canberra after a two-year hiatus in Ireland and France.

“With Smithy coming back it’s a bit of competition,” said Kuridrani.

“(But) my focus is trying to improve on my rugby from where I left off last year and just try to be consistent throughout the season.

“We’ll see who the coaches pick on game day.”

Also eager to stamp his mark in 2016 is Robbie Abel.

The hooker is aiming to win his first Super Rugby cap after joining the Brumbies’ extended player squad this season.

The 26-year-old sits behind Moore and Josh Mann-Rea in the pecking order, but is confident he will get his chance soon.

“I like to say we’ve got three really really good hookers here,” joked Abel.

“It’s good to just keep pushing them and hopefully they can feel me coming and then hopefully the opportunities come.

“I love Canberra, I love the Brumbies and I really want to push my claims to be able to stay here long term.”

The Brumbies, who beat the Reds in their final pre-season trial, open their season at GIO Stadium on February 26 against the Hurricanes.

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