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Ex-Wallabies centre Tevita Kuridrani has named his new club

By Liam Heagney
Former Wallabies midfielder Tevita Kuridrani (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Former Wallabies midfielder Tevita Kuridrani has resurfaced in the USA after an ill-fated stint in France. The 31-year-old last played for Biarritz in their 2021/22 Top 14 season which ended in relegation and after a year away from playing, he has now been unveiled as a new signing by the MLR Seattle Seawolves on a two-year deal.

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A club statement read: “What do you need to know about the Seawolves newest player, Tevita Kuridrani? He is gifted with extra-long legs allowing him to glide past would-be defenders while a deadly fend and subtle left footstep are enough to keep the best of defenders second-guessing while also possessing an excellent ability to offload.

“Kuridrani was born in Fiji and moved to Australia when he was 11. His international career began representing Fiji in the U20s in 2010. Later that year, he made the switch and began playing for his adopted home country, debuting in Dubai for Aussie 7s.

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“While part of the Reds academy, Kuridrani gained the attention of the Brumbies and made his debut with the Canberra side in 2021, quickly becoming their starting centre and getting called up to the Wallabies squad.

“Kuridrani earned 61 Test caps, scoring 22 tries, and playing in the 2015 and 2019 Rugby World Cups. In 2020, after 135 caps and 28 tries with the Brumbies, Kuridrani made the move to the Western Force. He now joins the Seawolves after playing his last season for Biarritz Olympique in France.”

Seawolves director of rugby and head coach Allen Clarke said: “This is a signing that will not only inspire our club to achieve greater success, but inspire our fans, our league, and future generations of American rugby players. We’re delighted to welcome Tevita, his partner Melissa and daughter Silovate to the Seawolves family for the next two seasons.”

Kuridrani added: “My family and I are really excited to be moving to Seattle. I’m grateful for the opportunity and looking forward to joining the Seawolves family.”

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Jon 58 minutes ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

I think the main problem here is the structure of both countries make up. They are going to have very similar.. obstacles(not problems). It will just be part of the evolution of their rugby and they’ll need to find a way to make this versatility more advantageous than specialization. I think South Africa are well on the way to that end already, but Ireland are more likely to have a hierarchical approach and move players around the provinces. Sopoaga is going to be more than good enough to look up one of those available positions for more than a few years I believe though. Morgan would definitely be a more long term outlook. Sacha to me has the natural footwork of a second five. Not everything is about winning, if a team has 3 players that want to play 10s just give them all a good go even if its to the detriment of everyone, this is also about dreams of the players, not just the fans. This is exactly how it would be in an amateur club setting. Ultimately some players just aren’t suited to any one position. The example was of a guy that had size and speed, enough pace to burn, power to drive, and speed to kick and pass long, but just not much else when it came to actual rugby (that matched it). New Zealand has it’s own example with Jordie Barrett and probably shows what Reece Hodge could have been if the game in Australia had any administration. Despite the bigger abundance of talent in NZ, Jordie was provided with consistent time as a fullback, before being ushered in as a second five. Possibly this was due to his blood, and another might not have been as fortunate, but it is what it was, a complete contrast to how Hodge was used in Australia, were he could have had any position he wanted. When it comes down to it though, much like these young fellas, it will be about what they want, and I think you’ll find they’ll be like Hodge and just want to be as valuable to the team as they can and play wherever. It’s not like 63 International Cap is a hard thing to live with as a result of that decision!

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f
finn 9 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

What a difference 9 months makes! Last autumn everyone was talking about how important versatile bench players were to SA’s WC win, now we’re back to only wanting specialists? The timing of this turn is pretty odd when you consider that some of the best players on the pitch in the SA/Ireland match were Osbourne (a centre playing out of position at 15), Feinberg-Mngomezulu (a fly-half/centre playing out of position at 15), and Frawley (a utility back). Having specialists across the backline is great, but its not always necessary. Personally I think Frawley is unlikely to displace Crowley as first choice 10, but his ability to play 12 and 15 means he’s pretty much guaranteed to hold down a spot on the bench, and should get a decent amount of minutes either at the end of games or starting when there are injuries. I think Willemse is in a similar boat. Feinberg-Mngomezulu possibly could become a regular starter at 10 for the Springboks, but he might not, given he’d have to displace Libbok and Pollard. I think its best not to put all your eggs in one basket - Osbourne played so well at the weekend that he will hopefully be trusted with the 15 shirt for the autumn at least, but if things hadn’t gone well for him he could have bided his time until an opportunity opened up at centre. Similarly Feinberg-Mngomezulu is likely to get a few opportunities at 15 in the coming months due to le Roux’s age and Willemse’s injury, but given SA don’t have a single centre aged under 30 its likely that opportunities could also open up at 12 if he keeps playing there for Stormers. None of this will discount him from being given gametime at 10 - in the last RWC cycle Rassie gave a start at 10 to Frans Steyn, and even gave de Klerk minutes there off the bench - but it will give him far more opportunities for first team rugby.

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