Crusaders forward Pete Samu will link up with the Wallabies after New Zealand Rugby came to an agreement over his contract with Rugby Australia.

The Melbourne-born loose forward was set to join the Wallabies squad in Brisbane on Sunday ahead of their test series against Ireland, after being released from his NZR contract.

His eligibility to play for the Wallabies without issue was compromised by his contract with Tasman. However, NZR Head of Professional Rugby Chris Lendrum said Tasman Rugby Union had given their blessing for Samu to represent Australia and would now have certainty ahead of their Mitre 10 Cup season.

"Both unions have also reached an agreement that will allow Pete to exit his current contract with the Tasman Mako, where he has played for the past four seasons.


"We are pleased to have resolved this matter and can confirm that Pete is free to assemble with the Australian team.

"Tasman Rugby Union have given their blessing for Pete to pursue his international rugby aspirations, and will now have certainty ahead of their Mitre 10 Cup season."

Samu signed with the Brumbies for the 2019 Super Rugby season, committing his international future to Australia.

The possibility of Samu representing Australia despite being contracted to NZR was brought into the spotlight last week after Hurricanes loose forward Brad Shields was released from his contract with NZR to represent England. Shields will leave the Hurricanes to join English side Wasps at the end of the Super Rugby season.

Samu was left out of the Crusaders squad to face the Chiefs in Hamilton at the weekend with the Wallabies squad being named earlier in the week. However, the dispute over his contract was not solved before the squad was named.

As a result, Samu was a late inclusion on the bench for Scott Robertson's side for their 34-20 win.

Robertson said he was surprised by the amount of interest had been generated in Samu's unique situation, but the loose forward hadn't let it affect his mindset with the team.

"There's been a lot of hype," Robertson said. "I'm surprised around the interest and how many headlines and opinion pieces there have been.

"He's just left it up to his agent. He's a quiet guy and doesn't say much anyway."

Samu played the final 20 minutes in Saturday's match, helping the side to hold off a strong challenge from the Chiefs.

It was believed that NZR's were demanding $50,000 to release Samu from his provincial contract, and just two nights ago, NZR noted that their "proposals have not been accepted."

However, Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle said she was happy a compromise had finally been reached.

"I want to thank New Zealand Rugby for their consideration in releasing Peter for international duties," she said.

"Our discussions were robust but fair and I'm pleased we've reached an agreement to allow Peter the opportunity to represent his country."