Japan-based Kerevi, McMahon withdraw from Wallabies’ UK tour

“We just expected a more honest approach, right from the beginning, if it was not their intention to travel,” says Rugby Australia chief executive Andy Marinos; France-based Kurtley Beale in line for first recall since 2019 Rugby World Cup

Last Updated: 26/10/21 10:58am

Samu Kerevi missed the Wallabies' win against Japan on Saturday with an ankle injury

Samu Kerevi missed the Wallabies’ win against Japan on Saturday with an ankle injury

Japan-based Australia duo Samu Kerevi and Sean McMahon have withdrawn from the Wallabies’ autumn tour of the United Kingdom.

The Suntory Sungoliath pair were included in coach Dave Rennie’s squad for next month’s internationals against Scotland at Murrayfield (Nov 7), England at Twickenham (Nov 13) and Wales at the Principality Stadium (Nov 20).

Rugby Australia chief executive Andy Marinos said their absence was “hugely disappointing”.

“The players have made the decision to withdraw, for personal and or other reasons,” Marinos told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“Samu has cited the fact he has been on the road for a long time, from the sevens, through to the Olympics, through to where he is. He has cited his physical and mental wellbeing.

“Obviously, they’re going to go into another hard-ish bubble overseas. Sean just made the decision that he would rather withdraw himself from the tour.”

Centre Kerevi returned to the Australia squad in September for the first time since the 2019 World Cup and played in Rugby Championship wins over South Africa and Argentina, but missed Saturday’s 32-23 win over Japan due to an ankle injury.

Back-row forward McMahon featured once from the bench since returning to the squad at the start of October after an almost-four year absence.

“It’s disappointing for the fact that we’ve backed these players, in terms of giving them another opportunity,” Marinos added.

“We just expected a more honest approach, right from the beginning, if it was not their intention to travel.

“If there was an inclination they were not going to tour, we would have appreciated it a lot earlier. At the time, when they were told they were going to be selected on that tour.”

Reece Hodge will also not play any part in the tour after sustaining a pectoral injury during Saturday’s win over Japan in Oita.

Beale in line for recall

France-based Kurtley Beale last played for Australia under Michael Cheika at the 2019 Rugby World Cup

France-based Kurtley Beale last played for Australia under Michael Cheika at the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Rennie has confirmed Kurtley Beale, who plays for Racing 92, is in line for a return to the squad for the first time since the Wallabies lost to England in the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Japan in 2019.

“We’ve had conversations with Kurtley over a period time and he’s made it really clear his desire to be a Wallaby again and with the introduction of some of the guys he’s played with previously he’s pretty excited by that,” said Rennie on Tuesday.

“We had a conversation yesterday around that.”

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