Wallabies centre Samu Kerevi will make a call on his fitness as early as Monday as he battles to overcome injury in time for Australia’s Test against Japan.
Coach Dave Rennie said on Sunday he would give his world-class midfielder “every opportunity” to be right for the October 23 Test. But Kerevi, nursing a high ankle sprain, said it wouldn’t be fair on the team to drag out the process. He will make a call on Monday or Tuesday, he said.
“I don’t want to be a distraction to the team, that’s a big thing for me,” Kerevi said. “With the centres we do have, Hunter [Paisami] and Len [Ikitau], but also [Lalakai Foketi] and Izzy [Izaia Perese], for those younger two it’s about giving them time in the position.
“If I’m coming in and out it’s not ideal, so I’ll make a call at the start of the week, Monday or Tuesday. Even if the guys are giving me time, I think for the betterment of the team it’s best we make a decision early.”
Kerevi, 28, has only been back in a gold jersey for a minute, but his contribution to Australia’s four-Test winning streak in the Rugby Championship has put him front and centre of the Wallabies’ game plan.
The 38 Test centre’s explosive, direct style will be a key threat when the Wallabies face the abrasive, up-tempo Japanese, but late on Sunday there were no guarantees he would be passed fit.
“The ankle’s feeling a lot better, I had my first running session [Saturday] and for a four-week injury it’s healing really well, they physio’s really happy with how it’s going but it’s still a bit slow for my liking … I’m still in doubt for next week,” Kerevi said.
“With the guys we have in the squad, whether I’m playing or not I think we’re in safe hands in terms of centres.”