Culture club helps Reds keep Kerevi
THE Rugby World Cup, the Brad Thorn-inspired culture at Ballymore and staying close to home was the triple-barrelled motivation for Wallabies and Reds centre Samu Kerevi to re-sign with Queensland and Australian rugby for 2019.
Kerevi was linked to a possible move to the Brumbies but in reality, the 24-year-old veteran of 21 Tests and 58 games for the Reds was never going to leave Queensland.
"I'm excited to stay in Queensland for one more year, my family was a big factor in staying," Kerevi said.
"The young boys coming through the club is what keeps me at the Reds. I see the potential. Not long ago I was in their shoes so to have one more year with them will be special.
"Brad (Thorn) has been awesome in changing the culture and mentality of not just the team but also the organisation.
"The World Cup is next year and that's pretty special for any rugby player. It's the biggest stage in World Rugby and that was another driver for me.''
Kerevi's re-signing follows Izack Rodda, JP Smith, Filipo Daugunu, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Aidan Toua and Alex Mafi all recommitting to the Reds last week.
Kerevi's family moved from Fiji to Queensland when he was seven-years-old. He played his junior rugby at Sunnybank and starred for Brisbane State High School in the GPS competition to earn Queensland Schoolboy honours in 2011.
He was an integral part of Brisbane City's back-to-back NRC wins in 2014 and 2015 after making his Reds debut in 2014. He made his Test debut against England in 2016 at Suncorp Stadium.
"Samu has made a home for himself here at Ballymore and has developed through the Queensland pathway into the player he is today,'' Thorn said.
"He has developed into a leader among the group and is highly respected within our squad.
"He continues to work hard on his game and I am excited for what the future holds for him at the Queensland Reds.''
The Fijian-born powerhouse is recovering from wrist and biceps injuries suffered during the Test series.
"First thing is first and that's getting back to fitness and playing well for my club and hopefully being picked to represent Australia through the year and into the World Cup,'' Kerevi said.
"Right now my goal is to hopefully make the back-end of the NRC, or even the Club 7's Series but that all depends on how my rehab goes.''