Samu to find his feet in Sevens

Reds star Samu Kerevi will line up at the Byron Bay sevens. Picture: AAP
Reds star Samu Kerevi will line up at the Byron Bay sevens. Picture: AAP

SAMU Kerevi is to make a hit-and-run trip to the Byron Bay Sevens on Saturday for a fast-paced comeback before flying to Japan with the Wallabies.

Centre Kerevi's inclusion in Thursday's 31-man squad to prepare for the All Blacks in Yokohama on Saturday week does not mean he's being sized up for a rushed Test return.

It does mean that coach Michael Cheika is super keen to get back some straight-running thrust at outside centre as soon as possible.

That may be for the November 10 Test against Wales in Cardiff but a full-on training week in Japan is essential first because the 21-Test force has no team to train with in Brisbane.

Kerevi made sevens visits to Byron Bay as a schoolboy and is eager to play with Brisbane Fiji on Saturday to feel the knocks of a game again and find some rhythm.

It will be the first test of his arm strength since twin surgeries nearly four months ago to repair a ruptured bicep and a wrist tendon.

"He's obviously an important player and we are thinking about that run at Byron Bay," Cheika said.

"He'd get a feel for making a few tackles and a bit of confidence because playing some footy would be important for him."

Australia's Reece Hodge, looks set to play in Yokohoma despite Kerevi’s inclusion in the squad. Picture: AP Photo
Australia's Reece Hodge, looks set to play in Yokohoma despite Kerevi’s inclusion in the squad. Picture: AP Photo

Cheika said "everyone going (to Japan) is in contention" for the Test but you can rule out Kerevi which will mean another start for Reece Hodge.

The Wallabies will redraft the squad after the All Blacks clash for the three-Test leg in Europe.

Boom Reds centre/winger Jordan Petaia will be picked for Europe.

He will go as far as he can with Queensland Country, who play the Western Force on Sunday at Bond University in the National Rugby Championship semi-final.

Caleb Timu will also play on Sunday but Cheika indicated the Reds backrower will be spelled from tour consideration to re-energise.

"He's had a big year and is not used to a lot of the things around travel and the international demands of Super Rugby and international rugby," Cheika said.

"I felt he was getting a bit rundown so we're saying have a break, get yourself right and have a big crack next year."

It's cricket like never before. Every Australia home Test, ODI, T20I Match LIVE and ad-break free. SIGN UP TODAY!