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'He was desperate': Dave Rennie defends Samu Kerevi decision

By AAP
Samu Kerevi. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

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Coach Dave Rennie insists he has no regrets about the decision to allow Wallabies linchpin Samu Kerevi to play Sevens in the Commonwealth Games where he suffered a serious knee injury.

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Requiring surgery, Kerevi will miss the rest of the year with the absence of the tackle-busting centre denting Australia’s hopes of winning the Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup.

He wasn’t due to play in the two Tests against Argentina, with the first in Mendoza this weekend, but would have returned to play against South Africa and New Zealand.

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Kerevi was already sitting out the Wallabies’ European Spring tour due to his obligations to his Japanese club Suntory leaving little opportunity to field their best side ahead of next year’s Rugby World Cup in France.

Rennie said Kerevi was “desperate” to go to the Commonwealth Games after his experience at the Tokyo Olympics and Rugby Australia supported that call.

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“It’s been really tough for him but I was part of the decision-making from the start,” Rennie said from Buenos Aires on Friday ahead of the Wallabies’ opening Rugby Championship Test against Argentina.

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“When I first spoke to Samu about coming back we checked; was he keen to be a Wallaby and he was, and was he keen to go to the Commonwealth Games and he was desperate to go to that.

“We thought it was a great opportunity to go and contribute and help them win a medal and so we don’t regret the decision.”

Rennie said the injury was just part of playing football.

“It was a bit of a freak injury and he does an ACL,” he said.

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“We’re gutted for him, he was devastated but we don’t regret the decision for him to go as it was the right decision for Rugby Australia.”

– Melissa Woods

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