South Africa v Australia, Rugby Championship
Tevita Kuridrani 'more than an imposing frame'
September 25, 2013
Tevita Kuridrani has impressed for the Brumbies in 2013 © PA Photos
Tevita Kuridrani will add more than a physical presence to the Wallabies when he makes his run-on debut in The Rugby Championship Test against South Africa at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday, with James Horwill saying "he's probably one of the best line runners that has come out of Australian rugby".
Kuridrani, named at outside centre after two appearances off the bench against New Zealand in August, stands at 196cm and 102kg frame, but Horwill said that he had been selected for his impressive skills with ball in hand as much as for his imposing size.
"He runs some great angles," said Horwill, who played club rugby with Kuridrani in Queensland before the Fijian-born player left the Reds' academy program to play with the Brumbies. "I think he really suits that outside centre role. He's got the bigger body to hit the ball up in the midfield. I think it's been a key thing from the Brumbies by playing him at 13 it's been a big help to their game and to his."
Adam Ashley-Cooper was moved to right wing to open up the outside centre position for Kuridrani. Joe Tomane was selected as the other winger after the axing of James O'Connor and injury to Nick Cummins.
Horwill returns to the side after missing the past two Tests with a hamstring injury, the only other change to the run-on side as the Wallabies look to end a losing streak in Cape Town that goes back to 1992.
Horwill said the Wallabies took a cautious approach with his recovery after he required hamstring surgery in 2012, but he noted the two injuries were very different. "It wasn't a traditional hamstring where you're sprinting for something and it tore. It was pretty minor, the tear, but one of those things where there's no point in pushing it."
Wallabies: Israel Folau; Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Lealiifano, Joe Tomane; Quade Cooper, Nic White; Ben Mowen, Michael Hooper, Scott Fardy; James Horwill (captain), Rob Simmons; Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, James Slipper. Replacements: Saia Faingaa, Benn Robinson, Sekope Kepu, Sitaleki Timani, Ben McCalman, Will Genia, Matt Toomua, Chris Feauai-Sautia.