Former Wallaby and ex-Reds and Crusaders winger Digby Ioane has slammed Michael Cheika for ‘missing’ on Pete Samu when he was playing in Australia. The blindside flanker moved to New Zealand and played his way into the Tasman side before making the Crusaders.
“So happy to see #Samu making the Wallabies. It’s a real shame tho Michael Cheika didn’t see Peter Samu potential when he was playing in Australia. #Grassroots,” Ioane tweeted.
— Digby Ioane (@digbyioane) June 5, 2018
Samu expected to remain in New Zealand for life when he made the call to leave Sydney to move to Nelson.
“Things have turned out different and I’m here now and I’m excited,” he told rugby.com.au.
“I’m really excited for the new challenge. It’s going to be quite tough to leave the Crusaders with what they’ve done for me and the way they’ve been going.
“When I made the decision to go over there I never thought I’d be back.”
“I’m still coming to terms with it actually … it’s always the dream to represent your country,” he said.
As a 19-year-old he played reserve grade for Sunnybank in the Brisbane club competition in 2011. Future Queensland Reds backrowers Liam Gill and Jake Shatz held the first grade loose forward positions. He then moved to Sydney to play for Randwick, the club that Michael Cheika coached before being offered an opportunity to coach professionally at Leinster.
Samu was apart of the 2013 wider training squad for the Waratahs where Cheika had a first-hand look at the Melbourne product but no contract came forward.
He has now come full circle, after being released by NZR to play for the Wallabies in the upcoming test series against Ireland.
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