Former Queensland and Australian representative Radike Samo will pull on the familiar St.George Queensland Reds jersey again, after being called into the side’s Brisbane Global Rugby Tens squad as an additional wildcard player.
The evergreen back row forward will join Chris Latham as the Reds’ wildcard pair in the inaugural tournament taking place at Suncorp Stadium this weekend.
Samo represented Queensland from 2010 to 2013, featuring in 35 Super Rugby games for the state, as well as 23 Tests for Australia. Fans will have fond memories of his efforts for both sides in 2011, where he helped Queensland to a Super Rugby title and scored a memorable try for Australia as they beat New Zealand at Suncorp Stadium to claim the Tri Nations trophy.
“It’s been a while since I pulled on the Reds jersey, it’s going to be awesome to get back in front of the home crowd,” Samo said.
“Just to be part of the squad one more time will be special. It feels like I’m home.”
This is the second time in three years Samo has found his way back to the familiar surrounds of Ballymore Stadium, after he returned to represent Bond University Queensland Country during the 2015 Buildcorp National Rugby Championship.
The Reds will take a relatively experienced 27-man squad into the Tens, featuring four current and two former Wallabies. It also includes 20 players with Super Rugby experience and six uncapped members of the 2017 Reds squad.
St.George Queensland Reds head coach Nick Stiles said he was a fan of the wildcard feature and was looking forward to having both players back in Reds colours.
“There’s a huge benefit to us in having these guys involved, not only in the tournament, but at training throughout the week as well.
“It’s great to be able to bring back a couple of experienced, older heads who have plenty of knowledge and passion they can pass on to the players.”
The Brisbane Global Rugby Tens features the ten professional franchises from Australia and New Zealand as well as French powerhouse club Toulon, Japan’s Panasonic Wild Knights, South Africa’s Blue Bulls and the Samoan international team.
The Brisbane Global Rugby Tens, founded by major events company Duco Events – the creator of the NRL Auckland Nines tournament – will be presented in partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland and Brisbane City Council through Brisbane Marketing.
The Queensland Rugby Union has also played a leading role in the inception, creation and evolution of the concept.