Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fresh Twist in Radike Battle

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fresh Twist in Radike Battle

Article excerpt

Byline: By Duncan Madsen

Fiji today joined in the tug of war for lock Radike Samo's services despite the new Falcons signing being named in the Wallabies squad for next month's first rugby Test against Scotland.

The outstanding Brumbies forward may have committed himself to Australia but Fiji today lodged a formal complaint to the International Rugby Board about his selection ( and there's still the issue of a contract with Zurich Premiership club Newcastle Falcons.

The 27-year-old confirmed he had signed a letter of intent with the Falcons ( understood to be worth $400,000 a year for two seasons ( but admitted he was having second thoughts and didn't know the full implications of what he had agreed thus far.

"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," Samo said.

Confusion reigns over what exactly Samo has put his signature on, with the player claiming it is only a letter of intent. His management, however, claims the Newcastle deal is binding.

That is the Falcons' position and their director of rugby Rob Andrew said: "Radike's agreement to join Newcastle Falcons is binding, and at no stage has there been any indication from either the player or his representatives that he does not intend to honour it.

"We look forward to seeing him at Kingston Park ahead of the upcoming English season, and do not intend to make any further comment on the matter."

However, his `contract' with Newcastle remains a point of debate today Down Under with Australian Rugby Union (ARU) acting chief executive Matt Carroll saying Samo was still signed to the ARU and the Brumbies.

Playing hardball Aussie style, Carroll said: "He can't have a contract with anyone else by the terms of our contract.

"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. …

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