'I'll play prop if I have to': Kellaway eager to maintain starting spot on Japanese return

Mon, 18/10/2021, 06:00 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has spoken this morning from Oita.

Wallabies winger Andrew Kellaway has quashed any suggestions of a move to fullback, simply focused on securing his starting spot after a breakout season.

Kellaway has been a revelation in 2021, scoring eight tries in his nine games as he edges closer to the record set by Israel Folau (10) in 2013.

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Having excelled on the wing, the 26-year-old found himself lining up at the back during the final moments of their final TRC game against Argentina with incumbent Reece Hodge covering the injured Samu Kerevi.

With the position still up for grabs, Kellaway's concern remained tieing up his spot in the side, regardless of if it's 15, 11 - or even 1.

“I’m just trying to stay in the team so I’ll play prop if I have to, sorry Al (Allalatoa),” he joked to media on Monday.

“There’s been no discussion there (about moving to fullback). I think Hodgey is doing a fantastic job but I think Banksy was doing a great job before him.

“As far as I’m concerned, I’m just trying to get picked on the wing again. If that (fullback) opportunity would arise, then great and I’d give it a crack but at the moment, I’m just trying to stay in the team so I’m not getting ahead of myself.”

Kellaway makes the return to Japan after a quick stint with Top League club Green Rockets Tokatsu.

Whilst he would feature just four times before returning to the Rebels, the outside back got a first-hand experience of their talent on his first start, thumped 62-5 by powerhouses Panasonic in March.

“It was only brief but it was pretty clear in all the top teams; Panasonic, Suntory and Toyota were playing a pretty fast-paced game, using the ball not too dissimilar to ourselves or New Zealand,” Kellaway said on the stint.

“We expect Japan to do that and in more of a refined fashion so it’s going to be an awesome game.

“There are many players playing in the Top League who are fantastic. I think we played Panasonic and Kenki Fukuoka scored many tries. Dylan Riley and Jack Cornelsen played very well. Suntory were very strong as well so there are many strong sides and players.

“...The Japanese people are so friendly that it’s not so much banter as it is support and I was lucky to have such a great group of players up at the Green Rockets,” he added.

“Those boys have been fantastic in sending my encouragements and congratulations. I’m excited to be over here playing where they can watch and hopefully it’s a great game.”

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