Samu's June chances slim

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Pete Samu's chances of playing for the Wallabies in June appear slim, as Rugby Australia mulls an offer from New Zealand Rugby.

Crusaders flanker Samu was not named in the Wallabies June squad on Wednesday night but coach Michael Cheika said there was a spot waiting for him should he be released.

Samu is Test eligible for both New Zealand, by residency, and Australia, by birth, and a two-year Super Rugby deal with the Brumbies made him immediately eligible for the upcoming June Series.

Under New Zealand's contracting rules, any player required by a Test team that is also eligible for New Zealand must be released by NZR, something that are yet to do for Samu.

Pete Samu is still a chance to play for the Wallabies. Photo: Getty ImagesNZR released a statement on Thursday afternoon, with NZR head of professional rugby Chris Lendrum saying they had offered a proposal to Rugby Australia for Samu.

"We put a proposal to Rugby Australia early today, that would allow Pete Samu to be available for June and the Rugby Championship," Lendrum said in a statement.

"Rugby Australia is currently contemplating this proposal."

Though they didn't release any details of the proposal, there have been suggestions NZR are after monetary compensation to release Samu to the Wallabies, specifically to compensate for his Mtire 10 Cup commitments with Tasman, which are part of his contract.

Rugby AU is reportedly reluctant to offer money for a player, believing it is against the spirit of World Rugby's regulation 9, surrounding the release of players for international teams.

NZR recently reluctantly released Hurricanes captain Brad Shields to play for England, while last year Rugby Australia let Rebels prop Tyrel Lomax join the Hurricanes a season earlier than planned, despite his dual eligibility.