Samo auditioning for World Cup role - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Samo auditioning for World Cup role

Darren Walton 12/08/2011 03:16:17 PM Comments (0)

Ageless warrior Radike Samo has been presented with a dream setting to audition for a Rugby World Cup role, with the Springboks unveiling a powerful line-up to take on the Wallabies.

Boks coach Peter de Villiers has selected 11 members of South Africa's 2007 World Cup-winning outfit for the Tri Nations crunch match in Durban on Saturday (early Sunday morning AEST).

A vastly different and superior side to the second-string tourists thumped in Australia and New Zealand last month, the Springboks' two most notable inclusions are master halfback Fourie du Preez and menacing flanker Heinrich Brussow.

Injury wiped the dynamic duo out of the 2010 Test season and de Villiers couldn't be happier to have them back.

"Both Heinrich and particularly Fourie bring a kind of comfort to the players around them," the coach said. They bring back a big element that was missed last year," he said.

While Samo has been listed as a reserve, primarily covering No.8, the 35-year-old is poised to make the most remarkable comeback in Test history if required off the Wallabies bench at Kings Park.

Samo's sixth and most "recent" Test appearance came against Scotland in Glasgow in November 2004 - six years and 266 days ago.

The Fijian-born loose forward subsequently played a year for Stade Francais in France and three years at club level in Japan before making an unlikely return to Super Rugby last season for Queensland after answering an SOS from coach Ewen McKenzie.

His two performances in 2010 earned Samo a Reds contract for this year and, after adding a second Super Rugby title to his 2004 success with the Brumbies, he is now in line for even greater honours.

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans is refusing to guarantee any player selection beyond this weekend, but admits Samo has as much chance as anyone of squeezing his way into Australia's 30-man World Cup squad being named on Thursday.

"That stuff will be resolved in time but Radike has got the opportunity here and now to really push himself forward to that end because he is here and the other (fringe) blokes aren't," Deans said.

"So that's what we're hoping he'll do."

For now, though, the World Cup remains but a dream for Samo, who still can't quite believe he's even made it this far.

"I'm just happy to be in the 22 this week and whatever happens, happens. We'll wait and see," he said.

"It's been awesome. First to join the 40-man (preliminary Test) squad. I never thought I'd be in the 40-man squad and now I'm in the 22.

"To be away with the guys, after being away (from the Test scene) for so long, I'm just happy. This weekend will be a big game for me if I get a chance to run onto the field.

"I'm looking forward to it. I can't wait."

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