ACT Brumbies centre Tevita Kuridrani determined to step up
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ACT Brumbies centre Tevita Kuridrani determined to step up

Fijian powerhouse Tevita Kuridrani has vowed to embrace his world-class status to lift his new game to another level as he sets his sights on a World Cup berth this year.

The bullocking outside centre has established himself as the Wallabies' first-choice outside centre in the past year, cementing his place in the starting side following superb Test performances.

Tevita Kuridrani has vowed to raise his game to a new level.

Tevita Kuridrani has vowed to raise his game to a new level. Credit:Getty Images

Softly spoken and shy off the field, the 23-year-old hopes he can unleash his inner beast during the Super Rugby season and take on more responsibility at the ACT Brumbies.

"This is my fourth season, I need to really step up my game," Kuridrani said. "There are a few young guys coming in and I'm sort of like a senior player. I have to step up my game compared to previously … I try to practice a lot in my talk to the young guys and helping out.

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"I felt really good, but I need to work on my game more. I just feel more confident with the guys around me."

Kuridrani scored two tries in his first game of 2015, last weekend's trial loss against the Otago Highlanders. He picked up where he left off with the Wallabies, before an ankle injury prematurely ended his spring tour of Europe in November.

He has now played 43 Super Rugby games and 20 Tests for Australia and looms as a key strike weapon in the Brumbies' back line. Full-back Robbie Coleman is the only non-Wallabies representative in the Brumbies back line.

Scrumhalf Nic White believes the Brumbies can add a new attacking edge to their game this season after previously being criticised for adopting a safe game plan.

"I think Tevita has already gone to a world-class level, the guys around him are really helping him as well and we're pretty balanced," White said.

White and Christian Lealiifano shared the goalkicking duties in the pre-season and the pair won't make a decision on who takes responsibility until closer to round one against the Queensland Reds.

Coach Stephen Larkham is still trying to find the right mix for his bench with several players, including rookie recruit James Dargaville and Ita Vaea, forcing their way into selection contention. "There are a lot of positives in terms of competition, we'll have to go to the video and make a decision on selection," Larkham said.

White said the Brumbies would not be affected by losing both trial matches. "It does matter [that we didn't win a trial], but it's not the be all and end all," White said. "We would probably have a little more confidence going into round one after a win, but I think we can draw confidence from what we've done."

Chris Dutton is the sports editor at The Canberra Times.

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