SYDNEY, May 29 (Reuters) - Canterbury Crusaders loose forward Pete Samu has signed a contract with the ACT Brumbies from next season, the Canberra-based side said on Tuesday.
Australian media reported the Melbourne-born 26-year-old has been tipped to be named in Michael Cheika’s Wallabies squad on Wednesday, with the move to Canberra allowing him to be selected for the national team.
“We are delighted that Peter Samu has agreed to join the Brumbies for the 2019 Super Rugby season,” Brumbies head coach Dan McKellar said in a statement.
“Peter is a powerful backrower with good speed and a skill-set that suits how we want to play at the Brumbies. He comes from a highly successful program and has enjoyed success at both (provincial) and Super Rugby level.”
Samu made his debut for the Crusaders in 2016 and has proved himself to be a valuable squad member, able to play at blindside flanker or number eight.
If named in Cheika’s squad he would give the Wallabies a 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.
“I am thrilled by the challenge of joining the Brumbies and am looking forward to taking to the field for the club,” Samu said.
“The Brumbies are well-renowned throughout Super Rugby for being a successful club and for having a fantastic playing culture.
“I’d like to thank the Crusaders for giving me a chance at this level and wish them all the best for the future.”
The Wallabies face Ireland next month in a three-match test series, starting in Brisbane on June 9.
Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Ian Ransom