Tevita Kuridrani re-signs with Brumbies and Wallabies

Tevita Kuridrani re-signs with Brumbies and Wallabies

ACT Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham says the sky is the limit for outside-centre Tevita Kuridrani and likened his ball-carrying ability to that of former Wallabies captain Stirling Mortlock.

Larkham also says flanker David Pocock is a "99 per cent" chance to start against arch-rivals and reigning Super Rugby champions NSW Waratahs, setting up a clash with Wallabies incumbent No.7 Michael Hooper at Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday.

Kuridrani provided a boost for the Brumbies going into the top-of-the-Australian-conference clash, announcing he'd re-signed with the Super Rugby province and the Australian Rugby Union for another two years until the end of 2017.

Fairfax Media revealed last month the bullocking back would stay in the nation's capital, with the news finally announced at Brumbies HQ on Tuesday.

Brumbies centreTevita Kuridrani re-signed with the Brumbies for another two years.

Brumbies centreTevita Kuridrani re-signed with the Brumbies for another two years. Credit:Jay Cronan

It comes on the back of last week's announcements that fellow Wallabies Scott Fardy, Sam Carter and Josh Mann-Rea had also penned new deals.

Larkham said he was still trying to lock down about 10 players who come off contract over the next two years. He said there could be another one or two re-signings before the Waratahs game.

That could be forwards Ita Vaea and Rory Arnold, who have had a stunning start to the season.

Kuridrani is just 23 years old and needs just two more Super Rugby games to bring up his half century, plus the Fijian powerhouse has 20 Test caps for the Wallabies.

Tevita Kuridrani has re-signed with the Brumbies until the end of the 2017 season.

Tevita Kuridrani has re-signed with the Brumbies until the end of the 2017 season.Credit:Getty Images

Larkham said the Brumbies centre had made the Wallabies' No.13 jersey his own.

David Campese said Kuridrani didn't pass the ball enough over the weekend, but Larkham said Mortlock didn't pass much either – he didn't need to.

Tevita Kuridrani playing for the Wallabies last year.

Tevita Kuridrani playing for the Wallabies last year.Credit:Getty Images

"[Kuridrani is] big, he's fast, he's physical, he's got a good combination with the players around him and he's only 23, so he's got a big future ahead of him," Larkham said.

"He's certainly the best centre in Australia, if not the world, at the moment ... the sky's the limit for him.

"Someone like Stirling Mortlock, who was a pretty good centre at international standard, he didn't pass the ball a lot, but we used him in other ways on the field.

"The same with Tevita ... in attack we use him as a ball carrier, but he certainly has a good short passing game."

Kuridrani turned down offers from overseas to stay loyal to the Brumbies, and he's been dreaming of playing at the World Cup since he was a young boy growing up in Fiji.

He'll find himself up against good mate Israel Folau on Sunday.

Waratahs and Wallabies coach Michael Cheika is experimenting with Folau at outside-centre as an attacking weapon, but switching him back to the fullback role when they don't have the ball.

Kuridrani saw him as a threat for his No.13 Wallabies jersey.

"Izzy is very talented. No matter where on the field you put him he'll perform," he said. "It will be good if he plays outside-centre; it will be good for me as well, to test myself."

Larkham was confident Pocock would pass his fitness on Wednesday to be available for selection to face the Waratahs. If picked, it will set up a tantalising battle with Wallabies incumbent openside flanker Michael Hooper.

Pocock has played just six games since joining the Brumbies for the 2013 season.

"Very optimistic ... he does have his final fitness test tomorrow morning, but I'm expecting him to pass that," Larkham said. "Not 100 per cent, but 99 per cent sure he'll be right."

Brumbies five-eighth Matt Toomua passed his concussion test on Monday night and Larkham expected him to play. He'll return to full training on Friday after coming off at half-time last weekend due to a head knock.


Sunday: ACT Brumbies v NSW Waratahs at Sydney Football Stadium, 4.05pm.

TV Time: Live on Fox Sports 2.

David Polkinghorne covers the Canberra Raiders, local rugby league, Canberra Cavalry, racing and cycling, along with every other sport, for The Canberra Times.

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