Wallabies score Genia boost for Wales Test
AUSTRALIAN halfback Will Genia is winning his fight for fitness ahead of Saturday's [Sunday AEST] clash with Wales in Cardiff.
The Wallabies playmaker, who missed the 63-30 win over Japan last weekend with a calf injury, passed an intense fitness test on Tuesday morning in Cardiff.
The former Queensland Reds star, who'll play for Melbourne Rebels next year, sat out the afternoon session as a precaution but is likely to be named in the side late on Thursday by coach Michael Cheika.
Cheika is also leaning towards keeping faith with centre Samu Kerevi ahead of Karmichael Hunt who also missed the Japan game due to a neck injury.. The powerful 24-year-old is in line to win his 16th cap after running in two of the Wallabies' nine tries in Yokohama.
Hunt is set to be named on the interchange bench with Kurtley Beale to remain at fullback.
Tevita Kuridrani, who scored a hat-trick of tries against the Cherry Blossoms, is excited about the prospect of a long-term centre partnership with Kerevi and said his fellow Fijiian's hard work in training is paying off.
"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," he said.
"Defensively, we've been working really hard on that, just me making sure that he's alright," he said.
"If he needs anything in defence, that's one area we've been working really hard on.
"For Samu, he's very dangerous in attack and we're trying to work on that as well to be a threat in the midfield."
Kuridrani and Kerevi will be up against arguably the world's best centre in Jonathan Davies on Saturday in addition to rookie Owen Williams, a creative runner, who's in the frame to make his international debut.
The 29-year-old Davies was named as the British and Irish Lions man of the series after the 1-1 draw against the All Blacks in July and Kerevi said he has huge respect for the Welsh superstar.
"He's a world-class player and I am looking forward to the challenge again," he said.
"We have a new combination as well in the centres, trying to adapt to getting that combination right as well, so we'll see how it goes on the weekend."
Experienced Wales back-rower Justin Tipuric is expected to be named in Warren Gatland's starting line-up after recovering from a thigh injury but halfback Rhys Webb is unlikely to feature due to a knee problem.
Tipuric's inclusion will be a huge boost for the hosts who are already without star flanker and Lions captain Sam Warburton and Ellis Jenkins.