AAP Rugby

Samu back home in Wallabies gold

By AAP Newswire

Pete Samu only met his Wallabies teammates last week but will already have to request a favour before Saturday's Test against Ireland at AAMI Park.

The target of a tug-of-war between Australia and New Zealand for his services before making his Test debut last weekend, Samu grew up in Melbourne's eastern suburbs.

He said he never expected to return wearing a Wallabies jersey.

"I never thought I'd be in this set-up playing on home turf," the 26-year-old said.

"But it's here and I'm pretty excited.

"I haven't got around to the boys to ask for tickets but I definitely will; I'll probably need 30 minimum (for his friends and family) and I'm sure there will be a few more putting their hands up."

Making his name with the Christchurch-based Crusaders after attempting to break into the Waratahs squad, Samu said he didn't move across the Tasman with the hopes of playing for Australia.

"To be honest I went over to just further my rugby career and knowledge of rugby and it's led me back home."

Part of the 2017 Crusaders Super Rugby grand final triumph, he credited their coach Scott Robertson with helping him realise his potential.

"Scott's a former backrower so I've learnt a lot from him and the All Blacks I play alongside," Samu said.

"He exposed a lot of my skills that I didn't even know I had - a lot of the close contact stuff at the breakdown and defensive techniques."

Samu came off the bench in the 62nd minute of Australia's 19-8 win in Brisbane and immediately made an impact, forcing a turnover.

He said while the pace was much quicker than Super Rugby he gave credit to the starting players for softening Ireland up.

"I tried to get into the game as quick as I could and was lucky to be there at the time," Samu said.

"It was definitely a fews step up from Super Rugby but the boys probably wore them down in the first half so it wasn't as fast when I got on."