By Lee Stace
AS FAR as Super Rugby aspirations go for next season, Bay of Plenty second five Steve Kefu is pretty relaxed.
Having spent the past five seasons plying his trade professionally in France and the UK, the six-test Wallaby signed a short-term deal with the Steamers for this year’s condensed ITM Cup.
While he will head back to Australia at the end of the season, he has yet to attract any interest from the five Super Rugby franchises across the Tasman.
Not that he is fussed at this stage.
“If the opportunity to play Super Rugby came up, I wouldn’t say no. But I’ll see how the body pulls up after the ITM Cup, as it’s a tough completion,” he told Rugby News following his Bay of Plenty side’s 20-13 win over Counties Manukau last Sunday in Pukekohe.
His old team, the Queensland Reds, could be an option, but they have depth in the midfield, with the likes of Anthony Faingaa, Mike Harris, Ben Tapuai and Will Chambers on the books.
The Waratahs, Brumbies and Melbourne Rebels are also well resourced in the midfield, but his experience could be of use to the Western Force, as they will be without James O’Connor next season.
The 31-year-old turned in a tidy performance in his debut game for the Steamers, running some nice angles and lines on attack.
In terms of the style, pace and skill level, New Zealand rugby is unlike anything he has experienced before in his lengthy top-level career.
“It’s totally different,” he says. “I’ve had to learn in two weeks the style of play and also get my skill level up. But I’m loving it and the laidback Bay culture so far.”
Kefu will continue his New Zealand rugby journey when BOP plays North Harbour this Saturday in Mount Maunganui.
He knows the Steamers have got plenty to do in terms of developing combinations and ensuring their defensive screens are tighter following their hit-out against Counties.
“We’re definitely an attacking side, but we need to sort out our defence. Even though we beat Counties, we felt like we lost the game when we left the field, as we missed a number of tackles.”« Back to Articles
This weekend throws up another set of games which could go either way.
Which player was unlucky not to make the Wallabies’ preliminary squad for the British and Irish Lions series?