Former Wallabies star Kerevi eyes Olympics

·2-min read

After dipping his toe back into sevens rugby this month ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, Melbourne Rebels winger Lachie Anderson knows it's a tough transition.

But he says that if anyone can make the move from 15-a-side rugby in just one month it's Samu Kerevi.

The blockbusting ex-Wallabies centre is back from playing in Japan and, after completing hotel quarantine, will join the Australian Sevens program in a bid to win selection for Tokyo.

The squad will play an Olympic warm-up tournament in Townsville in June, which also includes gold medal favourites Fiji and New Zealand, where Kerevi will need to make his mark.

Playing their first internationals since March 2020, the Australian men last week took on the Kiwis in a six-match series over three days in Auckland but failed to win a game.

Anderson, who joined the Rebels in 2020 when the World Sevens Series was abandoned due to the COVID pandemic, believed 27-year-old Kerevi could be a huge asset in Tokyo.

"It is a big ask to try and become a national sevens player in a month but we're talking about Samu Kerevi here," Anderson told AAP.

"He was one of our best Test players in recent years ... we're not talking about someone off the side of the road who decided to throw his hand up for the Olympics.

"Samu is a very talented rugby player who has a unique skill-set. I think if we can get him up to speed with the sevens and help him adapt to some of the subtle changes he has the ability to be a world-class player.

"He's definitely got a lot of X-factor so I think if he can find his way into the squad he will be a great addition and will add a lot of value."

Anderson, who spent 10 weeks this year sidelined with syndesmosis, said it was good to get back into sevens action.

After being a part of the Australian team which finished fifth at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, he is eager to make the plane for Tokyo.

"The Rebels are supportive of it and it was good to get some minutes back on the park in the sevens side of things and familiarise myself with that game again," Anderson said.

"It was tough from a fitness perspective coming off an ankle injury but I've spent a fair bit of time there so I felt comfortable being out there again.

"The plan is to finish the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman season before floating back into the sevens side of things which hopefully leads into the Olympics."

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