Australia will have the services of Pete Samu for the upcoming season after New Zealand Rugby has agreed to release the loose forward.
The 26-year-old became eligible to play for Australia after he signed a deal with Brumbies that begins with the 2019 season but is contracted with the Crusaders to feature in the Mitre 10 Cup later this year.
The New Zealand board had initially refused to release Samu but now have changed their mind following discussion with their Australian counterparts.
“I want to thank New Zealand Rugby for their consideration in releasing Peter for international duties,” Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle 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.”
NZR head of professional rugby Chris Lendrum also confirmed the decision to release Samu, who can now build on his aspiration to feature for the Wallabies.
“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.”
Earlier, while naming the squad Australia head coach Michael Cheika said Samu could be included in the series against Ireland provided NZR release him from the contract.