Kerevi admits defence is Achilles heel

Samu Kerevi says he is working overtime on fixing the one part of his game that continually lets him down: defence.


The Wallabies powerhouse is one of the team’s most potent attacking threats and at just 24, he can lock down the outside centre position for the next two World Cup cycles.

But the Queensland Reds vice-captain is currently riding the pine at Test level after being demoted by coach Michael Cheika after a poor defensive performance in the first Bledisloe Cup Test in Sydney, with Tevita Kuridrani preferred in the No.13 jersey.

Kerevi said he knew he wouldn’t fulfil his potential until he masters the art of defending in one of the toughest channels on the field.

“I think, personally, I can always get better with every aspect,” Kerevi told AAP.

“But for me, personally, defence is a massive thing.

“Especially at 13, it’s a difficult place to defend.

“I’m just trying to get that game fitness back so I can make those good reads and be comfortable in my own space.

“Even my tackle technique itself (needs to improve).

“I’m working hard on it here with the Wallabies and with (defence coach Nathan Grey) and hopefully it transfers to the field.”

Kerevi is also taking tips from his close mate Kuridrani, who is recognised as the more reliable defensive option of the two.

“I take a lot of my keys off him and learn all the knowledge he has,” he said.

“Whatever opportunity I get, I’ve got to take it with both hands.

“I’m working hard with the boys and myself and T have been pushing each other on and off the field.

“I’m just pushing him to get better and that drives me to get better.”

Kerevi is expected to be retained on Australia’s bench for the clash against South Africa at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Sunday morning (AEST).