NZR wants cash or Samu stays

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - SPORT -

CRU­SADERS flanker Pete Samu ap­pears to have lost his chance to play for Aus­tralia against Ire­land this month af­ter New Zealand Rugby said its de­mands for his re­lease hadn’t been met.

Nei­ther coun­try has of­fi­cially re­vealed New Zealand’s stip­u­la­tions, but it is be­lieved the Ki­wis sought NZ$50,000 ($46,000) to re­lease the 26-year-old Aus­tralian-born player from his Cru­saders con­tract.

NZR’s head of pro­fes­sional rugby, Chris Len- drum, said in a state­ment the is­sue hadn’t been re­solved.

“We have at­tempted to re­solve this mat­ter in good faith but our pro­pos­als have not been ac­cepted,” Len­drum said. “New Zealand Rugby re­mains open to re­solv­ing the is­sues.”

Wal­la­bies coach Michael Cheika could not fathom why money was stop­ping Samu play­ing for his coun­try of birth. “The kid’s very keen to play for Aus­tralia. I feel a bit for him too, it’s a na­tional call-up, first time.”

Pete Samu.

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