Samu Kerevi’s immediate Wallabies hopes are in jeopardy after the Queensland Reds centre suffered a suspected broken hand in Saturday night’s win over the Cheetahs.
But Reds captain and would-be Wallaby teammate James Slipper says Kerevi shouldn’t be too downtrodden if the injury setback does cost him a Test debut, because a green and gold jersey will be his eventually.
Kerevi, one of Queensland’s best players across the first part of the season, landed heavily on his hand in the second half of their 30-17 Super Rugby win at Suncorp Stadium and looked in immediate pain.
The 22-year-old came off the field in tears and had to be consoled by teammates as the realisation surely dawned upon him his hopes of lining up for Australia in the three-Test series against England in June might be shot.
Scans on Sunday will determine whether they are or not, with Kerevi to miss up to a month depending on severity.
But Slipper said Kerevi needs to keep his chin up and his mind on his job at the Reds.
“I don’t think he needs to be thinking about future aspirations for Wallabies and that sort of thing,” Slipper said.
“He just needs to concentrate on staying fit and sorting through his injuries at the moment and playing good rugby, which we’ve seen he’s consistently been doing.
“We all know he’s a future Wallaby.
“He’s just got to be consistent, stay humble and keep working hard because he’s a great bloke and he’d serve the country very well.”
Until the scans are returned, Slipper is hoping for the best for Kerevi, who was last week namedropped by Wallabies coach Michael Cheika as a possible selection bolter.
“It’d be extremely disappointing if he misses any games,” he said.
“He’s been a crucial part of our team, not only this year but last year.
“I think he’s grown not only as a player on the field, but a bloke off the field.
“He’s one of our young leaders and he’s got a real level head on himself.”