Wallaby Kuridrani re-signs, but Kerevi confirms Japan move
AUSTRALIA'S form outside centre, Brumbies flyer Tevita Kuridrani, has re-signed for another Super Rugby season and is set for a Wallabies recall ahead of the World Cup.
It's a significant win for Rugby Australia - which is losing Queensland Reds skipper Samu Kerevi to Japan - and the Brumbies, who will lose several club veterans at the end of the season.
On Friday morning, Kerevi confirmed his move to Japanese Top League club Suntory on a three-year deal from next season.
Kuridrani has played 119 games for the Brumbies and 58 Tests.
He did not play for the Wallabies in 2018 after he was dropped and then injured before the spring tour.
The 28-year-old has returned to sizzling form in 2019, scoring seven tries for the Brumbies and helping the franchise win the Australian conference.
Kuridrani will square off against Kerevi, his main rival for the Wallabies' No.13 jumper at the World Cup, when the Brumbies host the Reds on Saturday.
"I am very pleased to have signed this extension," Kuridrani said.
"Canberra has been my home for a long time now and I love playing for the club in front of our fans who has always been very good to me.
"Canberra is a beautiful place to live and I am looking forward to making some more happy memories with both the Brumbies and the Wallabies."
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar has re-signed nine players this season - Kuridrani, Allan Alaalatoa, Scott Sio, Tom Banks, Rob Valetini, Lachlan McCaffrey, Jahrome Brown, Matt Lucas and Tom Cusack.
"Tevita is in the best shape of his career and it is not surprising that this year has been one of his best as a Brumby," McKellar said.
"What has been most pleasing with Tev is that he has continued to add new skills to his game and continue to look for improvement.
"His footwork and speed, the ability to offload and his effective short kicking game are all qualities that now make him a handful for any defensive line.
"At the same time, he continues to be one of the best defensive centres in the world."
McKellar has also recruited NSW Waratahs flanker Will Miller and lured former Brumbies halfback Nic White back from Europe.
Wallabies quartet David Pocock (Japan), Sam Carter (Ireland), Henry Speight (Reds) and Rory Arnold (France) are all leaving the Brumbies after the season.
Wallabies centre Kerevi holds no grudges with the national body and will play his final game for the Super Rugby franchise in Canberra on Saturday.
Under current rules, he will be ineligible for Wallabies selection beyond this year's World Cup.
Kerevi tossed and turned on the decision but said his brilliant form this year and any late push from Rugby Australia to conjure a deal weren't enough to make him go back on his word.