Wallabies star Samu Kerevi has been included in the Australian men’s sevens squad for the Commonwealth Games later this month.
A year after he shone for Australia at the Tokyo Olympics, Kerevi is again the headline name in Australia’s 12-man squad as they chase gold in Birmingham at the end of July.
While the 2021 World Rugby Player of the Year nominee couldn’t guide Australia to a podium finish in his sevens debut last year, Kerevi will be eyeing better fortunes in the United Kingdom.
To do so, the 28-year-old will need to reproduce the blockbusting form that made him not only one of the form players at the Tokyo Olympics, but one of rugby’s best performers last year.
Kerevi will be accompanied in Birmingham by Waratahs flyer Mark Nawaqanitawase, who is currently part of the Australia A set-up in Fiji for the Pacific Nations Cup.
Whether Kerevi’s selection in the Australian sevens squad will impede on his Wallabies commitments remains to be seen, although the men’s sevens tournament at the Commonwealth Games begins on July 29 and ends two days later.
No Wallabies tests are scheduled for that weekend, although their first test of the Rugby Championship is scheduled for the following weekend, when they will take on Los Pumas in Mendoza on August 6.
Given the Wallabies are in the midst of their three-test series against England, head coach Dave Rennie is yet to confirm his national squad for the upcoming tournament.
However, Rennie will likely have to consider Kerevi’s participation in the Commonwealth Games when it comes time to picking his three foreign-based players for the Rugby Championship under Rugby Australia’s new selection policy.
Kerevi, who plays for Tokyo Suntory Sungoliath in Japan Rugby League One, is one of the three offshore-based players – alongside Quade Cooper and Marika Koroibete – allowed in the current Wallabies squad.
The Australian men’s side finished fifth at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, and have claimed the silver medal once (Delhi 2010) and bronze twice (Kuala Lumpur 1998 and Glasgow 2014).
The Australian women’s side, meanwhile, will be aiming to go one place better than their silver medal placing on the Gold Coast four years ago after crashing out in the quarter-finals of last year’s Tokyo Olympics.
Australia men’s sevens squad for Commonwealth Games
Australia women’s sevens squad for Commonwealth Games
Charlotte Caslick (co-c)
Dominique Du Toit
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