Pete Samu tipped for Wallabies call after Brumbies move

Pete Samu could be a surprise inclusion in Australia’s squad for next month’s series with Ireland after confirming he will join the Brumbies in 2019.

Melbourne-born Samu has been playing for the Crusaders since 2016 but will cross to Canberra next season.

Michael Cheika is expected to name him in his Wallabies squad on Wednesday, despite the player remaining contracted to New Zealand Rugby [NZR].

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NZR were unavailable for comment on Samu but the governing body recently released Hurricanes flanker Brad Shields, albeit grudgingly, from his national contract to allow him to be selected by England for the June Tests against South Africa.

Wallabies hooker Jordan Uelese said Samu, who is also eligible to play for New Zealand, was “obviously” an Australian player.

“He only just moved over to New Zealand not long ago,” said Uelese, who was born in Wellington but moved to Melbourne aged 11. “I think it’d be great for him to come.

“Obviously he’s gone elsewhere for an opportunity to play top level footy and that’s good for him.

“I know he’s a Melbourne boy, some of my cousins played with him out at the [Greater Sydney] Rams, so I think it’s great he wants to come back and wants to represent his country.”

Samu played for famed Sydney club Randwick, Cheika’s former team, and was part of the Waratahs squad in 2013 before crossing the Tasman Sea to play in New Zealand.

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He made his debut for the Crusaders in 2016 and has proved himself a valuable squad member, able to play at blindside flanker or No 8.

If named in Cheika’s squad he would give the Wallabies the strong ball-carrying presence in the loose forwards they have been lacking in recent years, particularly if teamed with Michael Hooper and David Pocock in the back row.

Samu said he was “thrilled” by the challenge of joining the Brumbies.

“The Brumbies are well-renowned throughout Super Rugby for being a successful club and for having a fantastic playing culture,” he said.

The Wallabies face Ireland next month in a three-Test series, starting in Brisbane on June 9, with every Test live on Sky Sports Action.

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