Huge Twist In The Pete Samu Playing For The Wallabies Against Ireland Saga

Free to play.

It emerged yesterday that Crusaders flanker Pete Samu would not be released to play for the Wallabies in this month’s series against Ireland.

Samu is in a similar situation to Hurricanes flanker Brad Shields, who was recently released to play for England in their series against South Africa. Melbourne-born Samu recently signed for the Brumbies ahead of next season, making him instantly eligible for Australia.

But New Zealand weren’t as forthcoming this time when it came to releasing one of their contracted players. They reportedly demanded financial compensation for his release ($50,000 according to the Daily Telegraph), but Australia turned the proposal down.

Wallabies boss Michael Cheika says he has been surprised by the whole affair.

I was a bit surprised to find out that there’s a compensation issue around this. I thought the rule that’s been around, about players getting to play in a national week are preserved. The kid’s very keen to play for Australia. I feel a bit for him too, it’s a national call up, first time.

But in the last few hours things have taken a further twist. Both unions have come to an arrangement and the player will indeed be released to play against Ireland this month.

“I want to thank New Zealand Rugby for their consideration in releasing Peter for international duties,” Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene 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.”

NZR head of professional rugby Chris Lendrum added:

“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.

“We are pleased to have resolved this matter and can confirm that Pete is free to assemble with the Australian team.

“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.”

Follow Me