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Will He Stay Or Will He Go

Will He Stay Or Will He Go

“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,” said Radike Samo despite agreeing terms with Newcastle

Radike Samo remains in a tug-of-war for his
services despite being named in the Wallabies squad on Tuesday for next month’s rugby Tests against Scotland.

The exciting ACT Brumbies lock-flanker may have committed to
Australia in
the short-term but Fiji has lodged a formal complaint to the
Rugby Board about his selection.

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Samo has also signed a contract with English club Newcastle
Falcons for two
seasons, putting his long-term commitment to the Wallabies in
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
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
Rugby Union (ARU) acting chief executive Matt Carroll saying Samo was
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
bodies. Newcastle would then be in breach.”

By committing to the Wallabies Samo’s international future looked
but sources within the Fijian Rugby Union (FRU) told Australian
Press on Tuesday the matter was far from over.

It is understood the FRU is angry that Samo was approached to make
decision while celebrating the Brumbies’ Super 12 final win last
“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
“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
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
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
Brumbies instead of his preferred centre spot.
But it may be at outside-centre where he ends up, with an injury
Stirling Mortlock opening up the position for the first Test against
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.