Samu Kerevi’s decorated career for Australia and Queensland makes him a potential X-factor for the men’s rugby Sevens team in Tokyo.
The 27-year-old has returned from a season in Japan’s Top League with Suntory Sungoliath to find himself in the hunt to Olympic gold with the men’s Sevens side.
An end to the domestic season in Japan sees the rampaging outside back looking for a return trip to Tokyo as the Australian men’s and women’s sides face Fiji and New Zealand in the Oceania Sevens this weekend.
Kerevi’s blistering power in 15-a-side rugby was the catalyst for heavy interest from men’s Sevens coach Tim Walsh.
“There’s no question, he was probably one of the world’s best players at Test match level, those couple years ago, so you know he’s a class player,” Walsh said.
“He certainly fitted into the group straight away and he’s always willing to learn, and all through COVID he was watching videos of Sevens … he really wanted to hit the ground running.
“It’s sort of my job to find out what he can offer, which I think we know what it is but then, make sure it’s the right thing for the team and he’s doing everything he can to be able to offer that and put himself in the best position for selection.”
For Kerevi, the dream of playing Sevens has been on his mind for some years.
He admits COVID-19’s timing and moving away from the Australian scene was a difficult pill to swallow, but is grateful for the opportunity to represent his country again.
“It’s always been on the cards and I think the timing of everything would just be the issue, but this time, everything just fell in line, and I’m just grateful to be part of the Sevens squad,” he said.
“It’s still special to represent Australia, I think it’s still special to represent a whole nation of people just in a different format.
“I always cherish the jersey, I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity. So, if do get to put it on you know I’ll give it my all.”