Home老域名 › Brumbies centre Tevita Kuridrani finds voice to be leader in Canberra

Brumbies centre Tevita Kuridrani finds voice to be leader in Canberra

Tevita Kuridrani wants to be a more vocal leader at the Brumbies this year. Photo: Chris Hyde Tevita Kuridrani says his try in the World Cup finals was a dream come true. Photo: Stu Forster

Tevita Kuridrani has established himself as the best outside centre in Australian rugby. Photo: Rohan Thomson

ACT Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham has challenged Tevita Kuridrani to find his voice in Canberra this season and use his World Cup experience to become a Super Rugby role model.

The softly spoken Fijian is preparing for his fifth season and is still riding high after playing all but one game of the Wallabies’ World Cup charge last year, including scoring a try in a tense final against New Zealand.

Kuridrani has vowed to keep taking his game to a new level after establishing himself as the first choice outside centre in Australian rugby.

But the Brumbies have laid down a new test to take him out of his comfort zone to develop him into a vocal leader for the next generation.

The 24-year-old has already played 57 games for the Brumbies and 31 Tests for Australia.

“At the start of the season Bernie [Larkham] has been talking to me and telling me to start talking to the young guys because they’re looking up to me now,” Kuridrani said.

“I’ve been doing that at training and trying to practise that, especially working off Christian [Lealiifano].

“The big boys like Stephen Moore are leaving [at the end of the season], I think I just need to talk more and always train as hard as I can to set a good example for the young guys.”

Kuridrani is a certain starter for the opening round of the season against the Wellington Hurricanes on February 26, barring any injuries in the lead-up to the match.

The hard-running back has already set his sights on making it through to the 2019 World Cup after getting his first taste of the tournament in England.

Over the past two years Kuridrani has become a mainstay of the Wallabies back line alongside Israel Folau, with every other position being rotated and changed.

His try in the World Cup final almost lifted the Wallabies to victory, cutting New Zealand’s lead from 11 points to just four with 17 minutes left in the match.

It was a brief moment for Kuridrani to shine after much of the Wallabies’ campaign centred around dogged defence.

“That was a dream come true. During the game I wasn’t thinking about the moment but now I look back on it and I still can’t believe it – getting to score in a World Cup final,” Kuridrani said.

“The World Cup was all about our defence and we didn’t attack a lot, so we didn’t get much of an opportunity to play. But I was happy for my first World Cup experience.

“Michael Cheika really pushes you to believe that you can win, I like being coached by him. The 2019 World Cup is a long time away, but that’s definitely a long-term goal. But at the moment my focus is the Brumbies.”

The Super Rugby season will be launched in Sydney on Wednesday, with Larkham and Christian Lealiifano joining representatives from every Australian franchise.

The Brumbies held their season launch on Tuesday night, with just 10 days left before their clash against the Wellington Hurricanes.

Kuridrani will be a crucial cog in a star-studded back line, but is wary of competition from returning Brumby Andrew Smith.

The fullback spot looms as the only potential position in the Brumbies’ back line that won’t boast an international representative.

But someone will need to step up to fill the void left by Kuridrani’s Fijian teammate Henry Speight when he joins the Australian sevens program after the first five games.

“It’s going to be strange without Henry, it’s the first time we haven’t played together since I started Super Rugby,” Kuridrani said.

“For me, this year is about trying to play consistent rugby and improve from where I left off last year. There’s competition all around the back line, especially with Smithy coming back.”


February 26: ACT Brumbies v Wellington Hurricanes at Canberra Stadium, 7.40pm. Tickets available at Ticketek.

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