Samu Kerevi was one of the biggest stars in Australian rugby when he made the shock decision to depart the Queensland Reds for a new challenge in Japan last year.
But 12 months on, the Fijian-born 26-year-old is still one of the best centres in world rugby after a dominant season for Suntory Sungoliath in the Top League.
Kerevi remained in western Tokyo during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic waiting for the season to resume, before returning to Brisbane – via two weeks in quarantine in a Sydney hotel – after the Japanese season was cancelled.
In a year where all plans have been completely tossed out the window, the silver lining for Kerevi is the rare opportunity to spend extra time with his family.
Both his brothers live in Japan – a major reason why he moved there at the peak of his powers – and his grandparents – who raised him from a baby – live in Brisbane.
Now he is back in Japan, preparing to make his mark in another Top League season.
How have you dealt with the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic? How did it impact your season in Japan?
I’ve been very blessed during this COVID-19 period. Though our Japan Top League season was cut short, I was blessed enough to spend five months with my family back in Brisbane and got to get the body right.
Where is the first place you will travel to when restrictions ease?
Back home to Fiji to see my parents.
What is your favourite holiday destination and why?
I have been lucky enough to travel around the world thanks to rugby and seen amazing countries that offer different things. But in terms of favourite holiday, it would have to be Kimbe, Papua New Guinea. My first real holiday with the boys which we went sight-seeing and fishing almost every day.
Tell us about your go-to restaurant and what you always order.
My g- to restaurant while I’m back home in Brisbane is Pho Vietnamese Kitcken in Chermside. Can’t get enough of the duck plum sauce with special fried rice. But my all-time favourite / secret spot would have to be ... c’mon can’t give out trade secrets.
How do you drink your coffee?
Unfortunately, I’m not a big coffee drinker. Hot Chocolate is my go-to.
What is the highlight of your career so far?
Being able to play the game I love with amazing players and teammates is the highlight of my career, anything on top of that is a blessing.
What is your favourite pair of RIXX sunglasses?
It would have to be the ‘Orbits’ Wolf Grey or Straight Black. They are straight fire!