Question marks around Wallabies star ahead of tour
SPOTLIGHT: A Samu Kerevi ankle injury could force Wallabies coach Dave Rennie to redraw his end-of-year tour plans.
A thorough 32-17 defeat of Argentina on Saturday will mean Australia head to Japan and then Europe for Tests against Japan, Scotland, England and Wales on a four-game winning streak.
No.12 Kerevi has been instrumental in that change of fortune, scoring a try before limping off in the second half with a potentially serious ankle ligament injury.
The squad, in camp for 109 days for the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship, will break on Sunday for 10 days before regrouping ahead of the October 23 Test in Oita.
They then play three Tests in consecutive weeks in November, with Kerevi’s injury potentially bad enough to rule him out of all of them.
The fixtures changes due to COVID-19 have meant Super Rugby players have had no more than a few consecutive weeks of rest since late 2019.
It’s understood that because of that, Rennie had planned to leave emerging talents like Noah Lolesio, Harry Wilson and Hunter Paisami at home to benefit from a full pre-season.
Centre Paisami, unable to find a way back into the side after leaving for the birth of his child, could now slot back in for Kerevi though.
“It used to be called a sprained ankle in my day. I think it’s syndesmosis now,” Rennie said of Kerevi’s injury as he waits on scans to reveal the full extent.
“We’ll see how we come through, obviously question marks around Samu and there will be a few bumps and bruises that we’ll have to have a look at.”
Buzzing after an undefeated month, Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper plans to enjoy his rare downtime before a crucial trip to the Northern Hemisphere.
“We’re gaining momentum, creating Wallaby rugby and at times we’re really dangerous and clinical and physical,” he said.
“This tour is a great opportunity for us; a lot of our guys haven’t been up north and we’ve got a World Cup there in two years.
“To have the opportunity to play in front of hopefully full stadiums is great for everyone and playing different teams will present different challenges.”