Brumbies make a splash with signing of Chiefs winger Toni Pulu


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    The Brumbies have signed Chiefs speedster Toni Pulu in an impressive signing for the Super Rugby club.

    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.”

    Pulu is the second player from a New Zealand club the Brumbies have managed to snare after they recruited Crusaders flanker Pete Samu.

    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.

    © AAP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (12)

    • August 7th 2018 @ 12:35pm
      Fionn said | August 7th 2018 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

      Now if we can nab the other Samu from the Reds I will be happy with that backline.

      • Roar Rookie

        August 7th 2018 @ 6:45pm
        Die hard said | August 7th 2018 @ 6:45pm | ! Report

        Apart from being fast I never saw a lot to impress from Pulu at the Cheifs Fionn. I can’t see all the fuss. Just another 30 year old foreigner taking the space of an aussie.

        He’s also had his fair share of injuries to boot. They would get better value within Australia surely?

        • Roar Rookie

          August 7th 2018 @ 6:51pm
          Paul D said | August 7th 2018 @ 6:51pm | ! Report

          Technically he’s not a foreigner and is Wallaby eligible. Whether it’s a factor or not I don’t know, but he is immediately eligible through his parents.

          • August 7th 2018 @ 11:32pm
            Johnny Boy said | August 7th 2018 @ 11:32pm | ! Report

            How is he Wallaby eligible when he played for Niue in Sevens?

            • August 8th 2018 @ 3:11am
              Ben said | August 8th 2018 @ 3:11am | ! Report

              This from Rugby Heaven…
              “The 29-year-old, who has played sevens for Niue, joins Crusaders loose forward Pete Samu in leaving New Zealand to play for the two-time champions in Canberra. Pulu holds an Australian passport and despite his history with Niue, a Rugby Australia spokesman told Fox Sports that World Rugby had cleared him to play for Australia if picked by coach Michael Cheika.”

            • August 8th 2018 @ 2:47pm
              Sheikh said | August 8th 2018 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

              I think it’s because he last played sevens for Niue in 2011, so he’s served the 3 year stand-down period.

              However, my reading of World Rugby’s regulation 8 regarding national side eligibility, and changing nationality, is that the stand-down period is only ever mentioned in connection with Olympic events, and Pulu surely doesn’t meet that criteria, as the sevens were only introduced for the 2016 Olympics?

              • Roar Guru

                August 8th 2018 @ 10:14pm
                Sam Taulelei said | August 8th 2018 @ 10:14pm | ! Report

                I’m confused over Pulu’s Australian eligibility as Niue captured his eligibility when he represented them at Sevens.

                He qualifies for Niue, Australia and NZ under regulation 8.1 but under 8.2 he is disqualified from Australia and NZ.

                However World Rugby has seen fit to erase his national duties for Niue and clear him for Australian selection if wanted.

                Regulation 8.7 doesn’t apply to Pulu as he’s not being selected for an Olympic Games.

                It’s great for Pulu that World Rugby has granted him this dispensation, I just hope this precedent will be equally and fairly applied to other players who this could be applied to.

              • August 9th 2018 @ 10:08am
                Jacko said | August 9th 2018 @ 10:08am | ! Report

                No its not because of any stand down period…its because he was ineligable for Nuie and should never have been selected for them……Back then it was the unions fault if someone was incorrectly played and the Union gets punished not the individual so it was like he never played as far as the availability is concerned……Mind you at 28 its unusual to go on and make it at international level from there

        • August 8th 2018 @ 11:08am
          Markus said | August 8th 2018 @ 11:08am | ! Report

          Yeah really not seeing the vision behind recruiting Pulu. He has genuine pace, but they have wingers 5 years younger than him with genuine pace too in Taliauli and Peni (assuming he stays). Muirhead is no slouch either.

          He is not a world class player so won’t provide much in the way of leader/mentorship in the backline, and at 30 years old he will not be part of any long term backline development plans.

          Still, if we can get a couple of good years of him as a finisher then perhaps money well spent.

      • August 8th 2018 @ 11:10am
        Markus said | August 8th 2018 @ 11:10am | ! Report

        Yeah I don’t want to get my hopes up, but Kerevi looking to depart the Reds is by far my favourite recruitment rumour going around at the moment.

        Kerevi-Kuridrani would be one of the strongest centre combinations in the competition.

      • August 8th 2018 @ 12:17pm
        Cliff Bishkek said | August 8th 2018 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

        Dud signing Fionn. Nothing great about him at all. The Brumbies could have done better.

    • August 9th 2018 @ 5:23pm
      HKBrum said | August 9th 2018 @ 5:23pm | ! Report

      Poor decision. Good talent left to wither on the vine like Smith, Dargaville and JJH. Brums are already carrying Peni. Speight and Muirhead were in good form at the back end of the season – what is the internal messaging if he walks into the side?

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