Kuridrani not taking his place for granted

Date published: June 6 2016

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Despite making the Wallabies’ outside centre position his own in recent years, Tevita Kuridrani is not taking his place in the team for granted.

Kuridrani is one of the world’s best midfielders and was Australia’s first-choice number 13 throughout last year’s World Cup but he faces stiff competition, from Israel Folau and Samu Kerevi, for his starting spot for the three-Test series against England.

Australia experimented with a number of centre pairings at training last week but Kuridrani is optimistic he will start in midfield in Saturday’s opening Test in Brisbane.

“I’m pretty confident but we’ve been working on our combinations, switching positions around, playing Folau at 13,” he told Grandstand.

“We’ve got Izzy and Samu there so we’ve been trying to pick out which ones are the right combination and we’ll see what Cheik picks on game day.”

The 25-year-old welcomes the challenge which the Wallabies’ first-choice full-back at the World Cup, Israel Folau, brings after he delivered several impressive performances in midfield for the Waratahs this season.

“It’s good that Izzy has switched to 13 as well, to have someone to compete with,” added Kuridrani.

“It’s been really good, he’s a great player and it doesn’t matter where you put him on the field he will perform.”

Kuridrani started in the Wallabies’ 33-13 victory over England during the pool stages of last year’s World Cup but he expects the Six Nations champions to offer a tougher challenge in the upcoming series.

“I think they will probably pick a different side compared to the World Cup,” he said.

“Watching some of their games they turn up the physicality. They’ve been really physical and it is something we’re going to try and work on this week and bring into the game and try and match it.”

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