Samu Kerevi is relishing the chance to establish himself as a long-term Wallaby starter after overtaking Tevita Kuridrani in the pecking order for the No.13 jersey.
Kerevi made his Wallabies debut against England in June but played at inside centre in combination with childhood mate Kuridrani, who has since been benched due to poor form.
That has opened the door for the 22-year-old to move to outside centre, where he has dominated in Super Rugby for the Queensland Reds, finishing this season in the competition’s top 10 for metres gained, carries, clean breaks, defenders beaten and offloads.
The Fijian-born flyer had a forgettable outing last weekend in the 29-9 defeat to the All Blacks in Wellington, kicking the ball out on the full with his first touch and generally struggling to inject himself into the game.
But Kerevi said he was keen to build on that performance and his partnership with five-eighth Quade Cooper, who he’ll be reunited with at the Reds next year.
“It’s just the attacking flair I can use,” said Kerevi, who is expected to retain his spot for Saturday’s Rugby Championship encounter with South Africa.
“I’m used to playing outside QC as well from our time at the Reds. I like the platform he uses.
“I’m excited about the prospect to keep playing 13. There’s been a lot of lessons learned in my game from playing the All Blacks and hopefully I’ll get another opportunity in the jersey.”
Kerevi said his relationship with Kuridrani was still a “healthy” one despite bumping him out of the team.
“It’s funny, we’ve been talking a lot, making sure we get the best out of each other, especially both playing outside centre,” he said.
“We work hard at training, doing our extras together but at the same time when it comes down to it we really push each other.”