Tevita Kuridrani has left the Brumbies to head to Perth to join the Western Force for the 2021 season.
Fresh off winning the Super Rugby AU title on Saturday, the veteran outside centre will link up with the Perth-based franchise for the next domestic rugby season.
Kuridrani has been a Wallabies regular since his debut in 2013 but was a surprise omission from Dave Rennie’s 44-man squad for the 2020 Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship on the back of a season in which he was below his best. Still, at 29 years old he still has plenty of rugby left in him, and produced his best game of Super Rugby AU in the final.
The now-former Brumby is the second major midfield signing the Force have made recently following the two-year deal Kyle Godwin signed with the club last week. They also secured captain Ian Prior last week, and earlier secured the arrival of former Wallabies prop Tom Robertson from the Waratahs
“I’m really excited to be joining the Western Force and being in a new environment,” Kuridrani said.
“I played with Kyle Godwin at the Brumbies, so I’m looking forward to playing alongside him again.”
Force coach Tim Sampson was thrilled to announce Kuridrani’s signature.
“We are delighted to have secured a player of his calibre for next season,” Sampson said.
“Tevita is a class player and has contributed immensely to Australian rugby over the years. I remember watching him when he first came onto the scene as a youngster in Brisbane and suspected then he was a player who was going to go all the way.
“The discussions I have had with Tevita, he is very excited about moving to Perth, knuckling down and starting fresh at a new club.”
Kuridrani scored 28 tries in 135 appearances for the Brumbies after arriving at the Canberra club in 2012, and admitted he was sad to leave the side where he made his name.
“It has been a true honour to play for the Brumbies, a club that gave me a chance to play Super Rugby, and to live out my dreams.”
“Leaving my family in Queensland to come to Canberra was difficult, but I can honestly say it was the best decision I ever made.
“I will cherish the memories I’ve made at this club forever, and I just want to thanks everyone who has made my journey with the Brumbies so special, not least the Canberra community who always made we feel at home here.
“While I’m sad to be leaving the club, I feel the time is right for me in my career to have a fresh challenge and I’m excited for my new opportunity with the Western Force.”
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar paid tribute to his departing centre.
“On behalf of everyone here at the Brumbies, we just want to thank Tevita for everything he’s done at the club over the past nine seasons,” McKellar said.
“He’s been a great servant for the club over the years, all the way to end where he was one of our best against the Reds on Saturday night.
“He did everything in his power to make sure he left the club on a good note, and he’s done that over the years, time and again, stepping up in big moments.
“He’s been a rock for us in that 13 jersey for a long time, his defence and his durability to go with his obvious gifts as a carrier, he’s been a huge part of what the club has achieved during his time here.
“It’s always tough to see a guy who’s contributed so much to the club leave but it’s probably the right time for Tevita to have a fresh start and we wish him all the best for the future.”