Samu Kerevi

  • 30Age
  • 186cm Height
  • 108kg Weight
Caps45
Wallaby Number892
PositionInside centre
Date Of BirthOctober 27, 1993
Place of BirthSuva, Fiji
SchoolBrisbane State High School
Debut ClubSouths (Brisbane)
Other ClubGPS (Brisbane), Suntory Sungoliath (JAP)
ProvinceQLD
Debut2016
Debut Test Match2016 1st Test vs. England, Brisbane
Rugby World Cups2019

Samu Kerevi is a powerful and direct centre three-quarter who has matured into one of the Wallabies’ most potent strike weapons.

Born in Fiji, Kerevi comes from strong sporting stock. His father Nimilote represented the island nation in football and his cousin is 23 Test capped Wallaby Radike Samo.

The Kerevi family moved to Australia and a young Samu played his early rugby with Sunnybank. He attended Brisbane State High School and in 2012 won selection for Queensland Schools however a year later he joined his brother Joshua in Fiji’s U20s squad for the fifth-annual IRB Junior World Championship tournament in South Africa.

In 2014 Kerevi had his first taste of senior representative rugby when he debuted for Queensland against the Highlanders in Brisbane. The following year Kerevi was among four uncapped players selected in an extended 40-man squad to prepare for the Wallabies' opening two Rugby Championship Tests against South Africa and Argentina but had to wait a further twelve months before he won his first Test cap, against England at Suncorp.

Since that debut Kerevi has gone from strength-to-strength, a fact highlighted by the award of back-to-back Pilecki Medals (2018 & 2019) as the Reds’ Player of the Year. In 2019, at his first Rugby World Cup, Kerevi was involved in a “game changing” controversy in the pool match against Wales. Coming out of his own half, Kerevi raised his forearm to brace for an upright tackle from fly-half Rhys Patchell. The incident went to a TMO for review of the ball-carrier, not the tackler. “When I realised they were looking at me it kind of shocked me, the first time I am getting looked at for running the ball”, Kerevi said. Wales were awarded a penalty, which they kicked to go ahead 16-8 and then immediately scored an intercept try. That 10-point swing in the shadow of half-time ultimately decided the game.

Kerevi then headed to Japan for a stint with Suntory however he made a surprise return in 2021 with the Sevens program in what turned out to be a successful attempt to earn selection for the Tokyo Olympic Games. Unfortunately, that Sevens dalliance brought Kerevi undone in 2022 when he ruptured his medial cruciate ligament at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games and missed the final 11 Tests of the season.

Highlights

2013

Selected in the Australian U20s squad for the sixth-annual IRB Junior World Championship tournament in France.

2016 Kerevi won his first Test cap when selected as the starting inside centre against England in Brisbane. Kerevi was retained for the 2nd Test in Melbourne but was overlooked for the next two matches before being recalled, this time at outside centre, against New Zealand in Wellington. He ended the year with a total of seven Test caps.

2017 Kerevi missed the June internationals after he suffered a low-grade syndesmosis injury to his left ankle when he played for the Reds against the Blues in Samoa. Despite a lack of match fitness due to that ankle injury Kerevi won selection at No. 13 for the 1st Test against New Zealand in Sydney. Five caps from the bench through the back end of the Rugby Championship and the 3rd Bledisloe Cup Test were followed by a promotion to starting inside centre for each of the four internationals on the end-of-season Spring Tour.

2018 He started at outside centre in all three home Tests against Ireland but then succumbed to a ruptured biceps, one that he had carried throughout the Irish series, to miss The Rugby Championship. Kerevi returned for the Spring Tour and started each of the four internationals at outside centre.

2019 Kerevi was capped in eight Tests, all as the run-on inside centre. He played four of the five matches at his first Rugby World Cup - against Fiji, Wales, Georgia and England.

2021 Following his time with the Men’s Sevens side in Tokyo, Kerevi returned to the Wallabies and started the final five matches of the Rugby Championship. He was set to go on the Spring Tour but withdrew in order to honour his Suntory club's wishes and remain in Japan ahead of a January kick-off with the Top League.

2022 Kerevi was capped in each of the three home Tests against England before his season ended with a ruptured MCL against Kenya at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

Samu Kerevi RWC headshot 2023