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Samu cleared for Wallabies selection

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Pete Samu saga reaches conclusion

Crusaders flanker Pete Samu has been cleared to play for the Wallabies after Rugby Australia and New Zealand Rugby come to terms.

Samu is set to join his new Australian teammates when they assemble in Brisbane on Sunday ahead of their three-Test series against Ireland.

Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle said Melbourne-born Samu had been released for a potential Test debut.

“I want to thank New Zealand Rugby for their consideration in releasing Peter for international duties,” Castle said.

“Our discussions were robust but fair and I’m pleased we’ve reached an agreement to allow Peter the opportunity to represent his country.”

“We are pleased to have resolved this matter and can confirm that Pete is free to assemble with the Australian team,” NZR Head of Professional Rugby Chris Lendrum said.

“Both Unions have also reached an agreement that will allow Pete to exit his current contract with the Tasman Mako, where he has played for the past four seasons.

“Tasman Rugby Union have given their blessing for Pete to pursue his international rugby aspirations, and will now have certainty ahead of their Mitre 10 Cup season.”

Castle and New Zealand Rugby remained guarded in terms of disclosing whether Rugby Australia had paid to obtain Samu’s services after New Zealand Rugby reportedly asked for compensation of $50,000 for his New Zealand provincial side Tasman.

It was announced earlier that the 26-year-old flanker will join the Canberra-based Brumbies in Super Rugby next season.

He will also forgo his final season with Tasman and will link up with the Canberra Vikings in Australia’s National Rugby Championship.

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Earlier, Wallaby greats George Gregan and Stephen Hoiles expressed their thoughts on the Samu saga.

“I think if Pete Samu was New Zealand born, New Zealand raised, then it would be fair for them to say we need to be compensated,” Hoiles said of his former Randwick teammate on Fox Sports Australia.

“But Pete Samu is born and raised in Melbourne, he’s played all of his club rugby in Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne. He’s an Australian, he wants to play for Australia.

“You hear all this stuff about we need to see Australian rugby strong again – well this is their chance to try and help us.”

“Without doubt it’s tacky.”

Gregan shared Hoiles’ sentiment, stating “you’re actually denying a player from doing the ultimate in his sport, which is representing his country, the Wallabies.”

“They’ve passed up on the opportunity to make him play for the All Blacks, they said ‘no, he’s not in our top 30 plus players.

“But there’s a real opportunity for him to play international rugby here in this country, he played all his rugby here.”

Unfortunately, while Samu joins the Wallabies they will be without another player as Melbourne Rebels hooker Jordan Uelese returns to Melbourne Sunday after suffering a suspected ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) against the Blues last night.

The 21-year old will have further scans on his left knee in Melbourne this week with a replacement player for the Wallabies squad will be confirmed Monday.

In other news:

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Pete Samu saga reaches conclusion