Fiji Sports | SPORTS

Why Kerr?

The Swire Shipping Fijian Drua need a first five eight with experi­ence at Super Rugby level to keep the pack moving forward with tactical kicking and unleash our backline at eve­ry opportunity.
28 Nov 2021 13:37
Why Kerr?
Swire Shipping Fijian Drua reps (from left) Meli Derenalagi, Baden Kerr and Napolioni Bolaca in Australia. Photo: Fijian Drua

The Swire Shipping Fijian Drua need a first five eight with experi­ence at Super Rugby level to keep the pack moving forward with tactical kicking and unleash our backline at eve­ry opportunity.

This was the view of Fijian Drua head coach Mick Byrne on the selection of Baden Kerr.

Mick Byrne (right) coaching Dan Carter during their rugby days with the All Blacks in 2013.

Mick Byrne (right) coaching Dan Carter during their rugby days with the All Blacks in 2013.

“Just like our fans, we want our game-plan based around fast, powerful and ad­venturous plays,” Bryne said.

“Baden has the right set of skills to meet this requirement. It’s exciting for us to have him in our Drua squad to rein­force that crucial playmaker position. He brings valuable top-level experience into our squad having played in Super Rugby, the English Premiership, New Zealand’s National Provincial Championship and Japan.”

The other first five eight in the side with Super Rugby experience is Teti Tela who is now undertaking light training as he is still recovering from an Archilles tendon rupture.

The other first five-eighths in the squad are Napolioni Bolaca, Tuidraki Samusam­uvodre and Kitione Taliga are all still growing in the fifteens game.”

“Successful Super Rugby teams play the game in the right part of the field, and Baden ticks all the boxes with a set of skills – adventurous play, tactical kicking and accurate goal kicking.

“He (Kerr) is already used to being part of a squad with players from Fiji and Pa­cific Islands, so we’re confident he’ll ad­just to the Drua environment.”

This is nothing new for Byrne, who many regard as the coach who helped mould the playing skills of All Blacks first-five eight, Dan Carter.

Bryne was the All Blacks skills coach when they won the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cup(s) where he was regarded their secret weapon.

The 32-year-old Kerr brings an impres­sive resume to the Drua’s 2022 Super Rug­by campaign.

Kerr had represented Counties Manu­kau from 2010 to 2014 and joined the Blues for the 2012 Super Rugby season.

After a short stint with the England-based Bedford Blues in 2015, Kerr joined the Saracens in July 2016 before returning home to Counties Manukau team for the 2017 season.

Kerr boosted the Honda Heat squad in Japan’s Top League competition from 2018 to 2020, before returning home to Coun­ties Manukau for the NPC.



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