4 Dec, 10:19
Grand Slam winners Fiona Coghlan and Nora Stapelton have returned the Women's RBS 6 Nations trophy to Chief Executive John Feehan at the Six Nations offices in Dublin.
The exciting ACT Brumbies lock-flanker may have committed to Australia in the short-term but Fiji has lodged a formal complaint to the International Rugby Board about his selection.
Samo has also signed a contract with English club Newcastle Falcons for two seasons, putting his long-term commitment to the Wallabies in question. The 27-year-old Fijian-born Samo confirmed on Tuesday he had signed a letter of intent with the Falcons - understood to be worth in the region of 230,000 a year.
But Samo admitted he was having second thoughts about the Newcastle agreement and didn't know the full implications of what he had agreed. "I would like to stay for one more year or two (in Australia) but I don't know what's going to happen. We'll just have to wait and see," he said.
His agreement with Newcastle remains a point of debate with Australian Rugby Union (ARU) acting chief executive Matt Carroll saying Samo was still signed to the ARU and the Brumbies. "He can't have a contract with anyone else by the terms of our contract," Carroll said.
"Also under the IRB's regulations other rugby bodies or clubs are not permitted to approach players already contracted to other rugby clubs and bodies. Newcastle would then be in breach."
By committing to the Wallabies Samo's international future looked resolved, but sources within the Fijian Rugby Union (FRU) told Australian Associated Press on Tuesday the matter was far from over.
It is understood the FRU is angry that Samo was approached to make a decision while celebrating the Brumbies' Super 12 final win last weekend. "From a Fijian point of view we just want to wait until the dust settles and then we'd like to have a chat," Fiji coach Wayne Pivac told AAP. "If he goes on to play a World Cup for Australia and has a career - great - but if he plays just one or two Tests and is not available for Fiji, that's a tragedy."
Wallabies coach Eddie Jones said Australia had a "moral obligation" to help rugby in the struggling Pacific island nations - but that didn't extend to offering the gifted Samo up to play for Fiji. "Radike has indicated he wanted to play for the Wallabies and we selected him," Jones said.
"We've always wanted to keep Radike in Australia - there have been a lot of resources to getting him where he is.
"He's gone through a lot of hard work to get him in a situation where he has been picked for the Wallabies so we'd like to keep him in Australia and keep him playing for Australia. We haven't pushed to get him in the squad, he's selected himself in the squad by the weight of consistent performance."
But while Samo dithers about his club and international future, his Brumbies team-mate, Clyde Rathbone has officially shut the door on South Africa with his selection in a 27-man Wallaby squad for next month's two rugby internationals against Scotland.
The former Springbok under-21 skipper has been an outstanding success on the wing for the ACT Brumbies, scoring nine tries in their Super 12 championship season.
With Springbok coach Jake White after his services, Rathbone said he had to think closely about what was on offer but ultimately decided his future was in Australia. "I want to realise my potential as a player and I think there is more potential for me to do that if I stay in Australia," he said.
"Then there's obviously lifestyle issues as well. Australia is a first-world country and I don't know if a lot of Australians take it for granted but coming from South Africa my girlfriend and I appreciate the benefits that offers."
Rathbone has showed his versatility by slotting in on the wing for the Brumbies instead of his preferred centre spot. But it may be at outside-centre where he ends up, with an injury to Stirling Mortlock opening up the position for the first Test against Scotland in Melbourne on June 13th. "Most of my career has been at 13 and I feel that's probably my best position but having said that I want to develop as much as I can as a winger - to the point where I can play both positions pretty well," Rathbone said.
AFP - 2004.