Kerevi in line to edge out Karmichael Hunt for spot in Wallabies starting XV

CARDIFF: Samu Kerevi looks set to retain his No.12 jersey for the weekend's match against Wales, with Michael Cheika likely to resist the temptation to play Karmichael Hunt in the Wallabies starting team.

With Bernard Foley, Will Genia and Hunt all unavailable for Australia's last match in Yokohama, Cheika was forced to make wholesale changes in the back line.

Reece Hodge filled Foley's void at No.10 and Kurtley Beale dropped to fullback, meaning Kerevi got his first chance at No.12 since the first Bledisloe Cup fixture in August.

While Cheika is yet to name his team for Saturday's clash in Cardiff, there were a few hints at Wallabies training to suggest Kerevi will be given another chance in the midfield alongside Tevita Kuridrani.

At certain sessions, Wallabies players wear different coloured shirts based on who the starting team is for the upcoming fixture.

While it is only a guide, Kerevi was seen wearing the same coloured shirt as what appeared to be the Wallabies' best starting XV.

Hunt, who will be right to play after a neck injury ruled him out in Japan, was wearing a different shirt that indicated he will be on the bench.

Kerevi scored two tries against Japan and used his big frame to excellent effect.

The man outside him, Kuridrani, crossed the line for three of his own five-pointers and the pair will be looking to continue their fine form when the Wallabies take the field at Principality Stadium on Saturday (Sunday AEDT).

Kuridrani said he and Kerevi, both born in Fiji, have been working tirelessly on their defensive roles alongside one another.

"Defensively we've been working really hard on that, just me making sure that he's alright and if he needs anything in defence," Kuridrani said. "He's very dangerous in attack and we're trying to work on that as well to be a threat in the midfield.

"I really liked playing with Samu [in Japan]. I think last time we played together was last year [in] the June series, where he made his debut. To see how he has developed into an international player, it was very great to play alongside him and hopefully we can get more games together and get the combination."

Reports suggest Owen Williams has won the race for the Wales No.12 jersey and will play alongside 70-Test centre Jonathan Davies, a footballer Kuridrani said he admired.

"He's a very world-class centre," Kuridrani said. "I've watched a couple of his games in the Lions series as well. He's just one of those centres that's got everything; running, kicking. He's very skilful and really ready."

Genia took no part in Tuesday's afternoon session, instead sitting next to Lukhan Tui with his Wallabies tracksuit on.

There was some concern he might not recover in time from a calf strain but Wallabies officials say he will be right to play after passing a fitness test.

As has been the case a number of times this year, players sit some sessions out, particularly the older ones in the group.

Foley trained well and looks set to take his No.10 spot back from Hodge who is expected to move back onto the wing.

The Wallabies will be hoping Kuridrani continues his spring tour hot streak on the weekend.

The 26-year-old scored a try in the first four matches of last year's tour and was denied a five-pointer in the final match at Twickenham against England.

With three tries to his name in Yokohama, there may well be another "train" celebration for the man known by teammates as "T-train".

"Whenever I come over to the northern hemisphere there's something special about it but hopefully it continues this year as well," Kuridrani said.

This story Kerevi in line to edge out Karmichael Hunt for spot in Wallabies starting XV first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.