Samu Kerevi has been in hot form for the Wallabies. Picture: AFP Photos
Samu Kerevi has been in hot form for the Wallabies. Picture: AFP Photos

Rampaging Kerevi sets sights on England

Rampaging centre Samu Kerevi says Australia's renewed defensive starch has helped his impressive return to the Test arena.

Man-of-the-match against Italy in the weekend's 26-7 win, Kerevi plans to have a similarly explosive outing against England at Twickenham, but Australia will need injured flanker David Pocock on the field to be any chance.

The Wallabies are hopeful Pocock will recover from a "neck stinger" that forced him off the field in the 52nd minute.

He is the key to the defence Kerevi spoke of after the win given his turnover abilities.

Kerevi made a game-high 14 runs for 127m, including a linebreak, three tackle busts and an offload.

"I just get the guys geeing up," Kerevi said. "I just try to do my job for the team, especially on those edges, carrying strong. I always back myself to beat the first defender and hopefully I am doing the right things for the team.

"My performance comes on the back of the team's performance and for us it's momentum through defence. I feel like when we defend really well, it transitions to attack, where we've got the confidence of going up.

"Hopefully we start the game well in defence. England are going to be another challenge."

David Pocock suffered a neck injury against Italy. Picture: Getty Images
David Pocock suffered a neck injury against Italy. Picture: Getty Images

Winger Adam Ashley-Cooper was also impressive in his return to Test rugby after more than a two-year hiatus with overseas clubs, making two linebreaks and playing a hand in both of Marika Koroibete's first-half tries.

Taniela Tupou and Will Genia also crossed for tries, but coach Michael Cheika wants his side to be more clinical against England.

"In the attacking side of the game we have improvements to make, but we're still showing enough glimmers that we need to finish," Cheika said.

"It's more about taking the opportunities that we're creating because we are creating some opportunities.

"Maybe just the wrong choice here or there but nothing crazy.

"The core of what we've been working on after the start of the season has been trying to get our defence very consistent, and that will be a huge part of the game next week.

"They have points in them if we give them the room to take points, so we've got to work really hard, get up there and get physical and get into it."

Five-eighth Matt Toomua was composed as a playmaker, while Bernard Foley had a mixed game at inside centre and it would not surprise to see Kurtley Beale wearing the No.12 jersey at Twickenham.

"Whatever combination we put together for next week we'll have a look at it, then going into next season we'll settle on what we're going to do," Cheika said of his playmaking dilemma.

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