Wallaby Kerevi gets Olympics call-up for Australia

·2 min read
Wallaby centre Samu Kerevi has been called up for the Tokyo Olympics

Powerhouse Wallaby Samu Kerevi was parachuted Saturday into Australia's rugby sevens team for the Olympics as they target a gold medal in Tokyo.

The hulking centre moved to Japan to take up a lucrative offer after a bruising 2019 World Cup campaign and believed his time in the gold and green jersey was over after 33 Tests.

But he returned barely a month ago to try his hand at the sevens format and is now on his way to the Olympics.

"It still hasn't hit me," Kerevi, who impressed in the Oceania Sevens tournament last weekend, told local media.

"I came back from Japan not really thinking I could make the team. I just wanted to give it a go and see how it went. Feeling really grateful at the moment."

The 12-man squad features 10 Olympic debutants, with only skipper Nick Malouf and Henry Hutchinson surviving from the team that finished a disappointing eighth in Rio, where Fiji triumphed.

The Australian women will be defending their title in Tokyo with five players who helped beat New Zealand to win the gold medal back for another crack, including co-captains Sharni Williams and Shannon Parry.

"There is a good combination of youth and experience within the team, but this is a new team and we'll be looking to write our own Olympic chapter," said women's coach John Manenti.

The men's team have Zealand, Argentina and South Korea in their pool, while the women face the United States, China and hosts Japan.

Men: Lachlan Anderson, Joe Pincus, Dylan Pietsch, Nicholas Malouf, Henry Paterson, Maurice Longbottom, Joshua Coward, Joshua Turner, Lachlan Miller, Samu Kerevi, Dietrich Roache, Henry Hutchison

Women: Shannon Parry, Sharni Williams, Faith Nathan, Dominique Du Toit, Emma Tonegato, Evania Pelite, Charlotte Caslick, Madison Ashby, Tia Hinds, Sariah Paki, Demi Hayes, Maddison Levi

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