MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Prop Sekope Kepu has targeted a second World Cup appearance after signing a two-year contract extension with the Australian Rugby Union and his Super Rugby side, the New South Wales Waratahs.
The 27-year-old, who played in six of Australia’s seven tests in their run to the 2011 World Cup semi-finals, said the Wallabies had fallen short of expectations.
“Going overseas was an option but there’s still much I want to achieve in Australia,” said Kepu in a statement on Wednesday.
“Attending the World Cup in New Zealand two years ago was a significant moment but we didn’t achieve all we wanted to at that tournament,” added the prop who has played 50 games for the Sydney-based Waratahs.
“There is still some unfinished business there. By staying in Australia I can give myself another shot by aiming for the team for the next one in England in 2015.”
The versatile Kepu, who can play in the loosehead and tighthead positions, will vie for a front-row spot with fellow props Benn Robinson and Paddy Ryan in Australia’s squad for the British and Irish Lions tour this year.
Australia’s scrum has traditionally been their Achilles heel but Kepu said the forwards were buoyed by their performance in the season-ending tour of Europe where they emerged with only a solitary defeat by France.
“The Lions will be another big test in that regard but we’ve shown we can handle it,” he said.
Writing by Ian Ransom, editing by Tony Jimenez