Reds head coach Nick Stiles believes star centre Samu Kerevi’s absence through injury from the Wallabies 2016 end-of-year tour will benefit his his team’s upcoming Super Rugby campaign.
Kerevi missed the Wallabies’ tour of Europe after hurting his ankle in Australia’s final Bledisloe Cup Test with New Zealand in Auckland last October.
And Stiles feels the injury was a blessing in disguise for the 23-year-old, who shone for the Reds in Super Rugby last year before starting in eight Tests for the Wallabies.
“I’m not going to lie, I was actually happy when he got his injury in the Wallabies game because it meant that he’d miss the UK tour and that’s being selfish I understand,” Stiles told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“Last year for him was a massive year. The amount of ball carrying he had to do for us throughout the season, the metres he ran he was the best in the competition, and that puts a lot of physical toll on you.
“Then to go from that into your first international season is really draining mentally as much as anything else.
“It’s not ideal and it’s in the best interest of everyone that he’s playing Wallabies, but for him to get an extended break leading into the pre-season was actually mentally a freshen up for him and his body is in even better condition than it was last year.”