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White, Samu to depart Safeguard Global ACT Brumbies at the end of 2023 season



The Safeguard Global ACT Brumbies have confirmed halfback Nic White and backrower Pete Samu will depart the club at the end of the 2023 Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific season.



White will continue his Super Rugby and Wallabies career with the Western Force with Pete Samu moving overseas.



A stalwart for the club across two stints spanning from 2011 to this season, 2023 is White’s 9th season as part of the Brumbies Super Rugby squad, the pathways graduate having represented the ACT on 108 occasions to date.



White joined the professional ranks against the Reds in 2011, rising to prominence in 2013 where he made his Wallabies debut against the All Blacks in Sydney before departing for France at the end of the 2015 season.



After successful stints with Montpellier and Exeter Chiefs in England, White returned to the Brumbies in 2020, joining the squad during Super Rugby AU as COVID-19 shutdown competitions in Europe, helping the side claim the title against Queensland at GIO Stadium.



2022 saw White earn ‘Best Back’ honours at the Brumbies end of season awards, recognition of his significant contribution to the club’s run to the Super Rugby Pacific Semi-Finals with White making his 100th appearance for the Brumbies in round one this year against the Waratahs in Sydney.



Safeguard Global ACT Brumbies halfback, Nic White said: “I started my career here in 2008 and now 15 years later, with a few years overseas, it is sadly time to say goodbye.



“I will forever be grateful to the Brumbies for giving me my first opportunity in professional rugby. The years spent here have shaped me into a better rugby player, and more importantly, a better man.



“Canberra has long been my home away from home. I will leave with many happy memories and lifelong friendship but the season is not done yet and there’s still plenty to play for so my focus is to give my best for the Brumbies and go out on a high.”



Samu joined the Brumbies from the champion Crusaders at the end of 2018, becoming an instant fan-favourite in his first season with his signature style and ability with ball-in-hand.



The Brumbies best forward in 2020 and 2022, Samu brought up 50 games for the Brumbies in a memorable win against the Chiefs last year and will look to notch up 100 Super Rugby caps by the end of the season.



Safeguard Global ACT Brumbies backrower, Pete Samu said: “I just want to thank the Brumbies and the Canberra community for the past five years.”



“This club and Canberra will always be a special place for me and my family, and I’ll cherish the memories forever.



“What I’ll miss most is the boys and the culture we’ve built but we’ve still got more memories to make this year.”



Safeguard Global ACT Brumbies head coach, Stephen Larkham said: “We’re disappointed to see Pete and Nic go at the end of the season, but we understand in professional sport, players and people have to make a difficult decision for themselves and their families.”



“The club made every effort to retain both players past this year, but the reality is there are factors outside of our control as well as the competitive marketplace for players of their calibre that come into play.



“Both Nic and Pete have been and will be integral members of our group and we will celebrate their significant contribution to the Brumbies at the right moment but our focus now is on Sunday against the Highlanders.”

Content & Images from – Brumbies Rugby

Super Rugby

Family the motivator for Whitelock’s French move



The 2023 Super Rugby Pacific season will be Samuel Whitelock’s last with the Crusaders.


The veteran Crusader and All Black has taken up a two-year deal with Section Pau in the South of France, where he’ll link up with younger brother Luke Whitelock who joined the Top 14 club in 2019.


“Hannah, the kids and myself are going to head to France to play with my little brother Luke,” Whitelock said.


“I’ve had the privilege of playing with family for Canterbury, the Crusaders and the All Blacks at different stages and this opportunity was too good to pass up.”


Whitelock debuted for Canterbury in 2008 and the Crusaders in 2010. He is Crusader #142 and has currently played 176 games for the franchise – second only to Wyatt Crockett (203). He’s been a part of six championship campaigns and captained the side for several seasons.


“I want to say thank you to everyone for their support through the years, it’s been absolutely immense,” Whitelock said.


You’ve helped me grow, you’ve helped me develop as a player”, but most importantly as a person.”


There are few players in Crusaders history who have made a mark like Sam Whitelock. A mainstay for generations of fans, his presence on the field brought confidence to both the playing group and the fans.


The same could be said for his impact on the All Blacks, having earned many All Blacks caps as captain and respect across the globe as a rugby role model.


Scott Robertson, Crusaders Head Coach, said Whitelock was an “iconic rugby player” who had taught him a lot throughout his coaching career.


“He’s iconic because of his consistency in form at all levels, spanning three decades and being at the top of his game throughout that time,” Robertson said.


He said Whitelock’s game understanding and “his ability to win big moments in big games” set him apart.


“He has an innate ability to connect the group and know what needs to be said at the right time on and off the field.”


“He’s a great mate and a pleasure to coach.”


“If there’s one player who lives the Crusaders culture it’s him, through consistency, his daily habits and his leadership.”


Whitelock will join Pau after the Rugby World Cup.

Content & Images from – Crusaders Rugby

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Super Rugby

Team Naming: Whitelock Back for Waratahs Game



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The Crusaders have named their side to face the Waratahs in Round 14 of Super Rugby Pacific ’23.


It’s the team’s last home game of the regular season before we get into finals. Kick off is Saturday at 4.35pm.


Codie Taylor takes up captaincy with Scott Barrett making the most of a rest week before some big showdowns. He’s joined in the front row by Kershawl Sykes-Martin and Tamaiti Williams.


Sam Whitelock returns this week, itching to take the field after a few weeks sidelined by injury. Both Codie Taylor and Scott Robertson spoke on Thursday morning about looking forward to having his leadership and wisdom back on the grass.


The dynamic duo of Mitch Drummond and Richie Mo’unga return at halfback and first five, their routine well-polished by now.


Look for some antics and acrobatics from Leicester Fainga’anuku and Dallas McLeod on the left and right wings, and a safe pair of hands at the rear with Fergus Burke as fullback.


Reuben O’Neill is set to make his Crusaders debut off the bench this week, the current Taranaki and former Chiefs player bolstering the front row stocks. He’s slotted in well with the team during trainings, Robertson saying he was “familiar to us” and helped relieve the burden on a front row depleted by injury. Brodie McAlister and Seb Calder make up the rest of the replacement front row.


The Crusaders go into this one second on the table, the Waratahs in sixth. There’s no discounting an Aussie side still within reach of a home quarter if the cards fall right for them. Expect a big contest.

Content & Images from – Crusaders Rugby

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Super Rugby

Farewell to a legend



The Highlanders will use the last home game of the year against the Reds on Friday 26th May to farewell Aaron Smith – their most capped player ever. All things going to plan Smith should play his 184th game against the Reds.

Smith joined the club in 2011 at the behest of the then new Highlander’s coach, Jamie Joseph, having previously been in the Blues wider training group, the rest as they say is history.

Widely recognised as one of the best halfbacks in the game his performances over the years have left fans, fellow players and the media in awe of his consistency, energy, skill level and competitiveness.

However, all good things come to an end and on Friday 26th May at 7.05pm Smith will suit up in his Highlanders jersey and run out of the stadium tunnel to be greeted by a home crowd for the last time, from next year he is signed to play in the Japanese League.

Highlanders CEO Roger Clark appreciates it will be a significant moment in the club’s history.

“Aaron has given so much to the club and rugby public in this region. Saying good-bye is not a moment that many will be looking forward to, but he so richly deserves this one last opportunity to sign off an amazing Highlanders career in front of his home crowd.  No doubt It will be a very special occasion for Aaron, Teagan and his children Luka and Leo, we hope it will be a night to remember for all.”

Head Coach Clarke Dermody acknowledges it will be an extra special night for his All-Black halfback.

“He’s been leading our team around the park for the last decade or so and he epitomises everything that a professional player should be – always prepared, highly skilled, competitive, and passionate about his team. He deserves all the recognition he gets, and he has worked very hard for it. Knowing Aaron, he will treat it like any other week, go through his routines, preparing accurately and give it his best on the night. I know I won’t be alone in reflecting on his enormous contribution to rugby in our region as his last home game comes to an end.”

Fans will have another opportunity to watch the master in action when the Highlanders take on the Rebels this Saturday at 4.35pm.

Book your seat to witness history here 


Content & Images from – Highlanders Rugby

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