Brumbies recruit Toni Pulu is immediately eligible for Wallabies duties due to a World Rugby dispensation, a Rugby Australia spokesperson has stated.
Holding a current Australian passport, the 29-year-old was cleared by World Rugby to throw on the gold jersey if Michael Cheika called up the speedster after he previously played sevens for his ancestral home Niue.
Pulu signed a two-year Brumbies deal on Tuesday, but was not named in Cheika’s 36 man training squad ahead of the Wallabies opening Bledisloe clash in Sydney on August 18.
The winger scored 14 tries in 32 appearances for the Waikato-based Chiefs after making his debut in 2016.
Former Chiefs coach Dave Rennie was blown away by Pulu after he burst onto the scene two years ago, calling him the fastest man in rugby.
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar is thrilled to bring the 28-year-old to Canberra for the 2019 season.
“Toni has genuine speed, he’s a natural footballer, he sees space well, communicates and has an excellent offload game,” McKellar said.
“He’s come from a team which has had a lot of success and play a similar style to the one we want to play so he’s a good fit for us.”
Born in Los Angeles, Pulu moved to New Zealand at the age of three, but qualifies for Australia through parentage.
Pulu is the second player from a New Zealand club the Brumbies have managed to snare after they recruited Crusaders flanker Pete Samu.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Brumbies and am looking forward to beginning a new stage of my rugby career in Australia,” Pulu said.
“The Brumbies are a well known and well respected organisation and I have been impressed by what I have seen and heard when playing against them.
“They are known for their free flowing rugby and for their unique family culture.
“I have enjoyed my time with the Chiefs immensely but am very much looking forward to moving to Canberra and settling in with my new club.”
In other Brumbies news, star winger Henry Speight will play in Ireland during the Super Rugby break after signing a one-year deal with Ulster.
It’s the same Pro14 club co-captain Christian Lealiifano played for early this year.
Speight will rejoin the Brumbies before the 2019 campaign as he pushes his claims for Wallabies recall for next year’s World Cup.