Rugby sevens, injury news, Samu Kerevi, update, Wallabies vs Argentina, rugby championship

The Wallabies’ biggest fears have come true, and Samu Kerevi is expected to miss the rest of the year due to a knee injury.

It is clear that Kerevi, 28, suffered an ACL injury during Australia’s narrow 7-5 win over Kenya in their Commonwealth Games pool match over the weekend.

Kerevi took no further part in Australia’s campaign, where John Manenti’s side lost to South Africa in the semi-final.

Rugby Australia had been reticent about details about Kerevi and wouldn’t let the cat out of the bag.

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But the Suntory center is expected to miss out for the rest of the year, with sources confirming that the 41 test center is expected to be sidelined for at least six months.

Kerevi would be devastated, assuming he let his teammates down.

The Wallabies were pleased to see Kerevi join Australia’s sevens campaign after the former Queensland Reds captain promised his teammates from the Tokyo Olympics that he would try to help them win gold in Birmingham.


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Samu Kerevi was injured during the Commonwealth Games.  (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Samu Kerevi was injured during the Commonwealth Games. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

“It was a tough decision in the end, but I gave these guys my word: if I was available to be back, I would be back here,” Kerevi said. News Corp in the run-up to the Games.

“I am blessed enough to be in this position and to be selected for these Games. I’m pretty ecstatic about that.

“It’s quite special to be part of this group and to represent Australia. It’s something I will always, always remember.

“But more than just competing, we want to be here and do it right and win a medal – win a gold medal. That’s our goal and the guys are working hard on that.”

After playing in the number 12 jersey in all three Tests against England in July, Kerevi was always meant to miss the first two games of the Rugby Championship against Michael Cheika’s Argentina due to his Commonwealth Games commitments.

The world-class center was set to rejoin the squad for the home tests against the Springboks later this month, but that won’t be the case now.

There was an inherent risk of returning to the sevens program, especially with the extra miles in the legs needed to succeed in the shortened game, but Wallabies coach Dave Rennie is said to have sweated his fitness, so important to the team.

When announcing the Wallabies roster last month, Rennie said Kerevi had his blessing to play at the tournament, adding that that would only have changed if they were stretched to their limits in the centres.

England down Wallabies at Suncorp | 00:40

“Obviously Samu is going to the sevens, to the Commonwealth Games, that was very important to us,” said Rennie.

“The first conversations we had a few months ago were that if we got injured we might not let him go, but it’s important for our country to send away a strong team with a chance to win a medal.” – and the sevens guys have been going well lately and Samu will only add to that so we’re committed to that.

“Now that Izzy Perese is injured, he (Irae Simone) comes in to do a part in the Argentine tour and then we get Samu back.”

Kerevi’s long-term injury will put additional pressure on Hunter Paisami to perform, with the Reds center likely to wear the No. 12 jersey against Los Pumas in Mendoza on Sunday (AEST).

Quade Cooper, meanwhile, is pushing for a recall to the starting side after missing out on the 2-1 series loss against England after sustaining a calf injury during the warm-up prior to the opening test.

Kerevi’s absence allows Rennie to see how Cooper works without his battering ram on the outside.

While Cooper won all five games he played for the Wallabies last year, he took advantage of Kerevi playing in midfield as the big defender on his outside.

Now without Kerevi’s strength to stabilize the ship if necessary, Cheika’s Pumas will no doubt target Cooper and attempt to take his space.

Argentina take a thrilling 2-1 series win against Scotland in what was Cheika’s first Tests as coach, having taken over Mario Ledesma earlier this year.

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