Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Samo living the dream

Radike Samo

Veteran Australia forward Radike Samo admitted he gave up on his dream of ever playing at a World Cup until a phone call from Robbie Deans last year reignited his belief.

The 35-year-old's inclusion for the next month's tournament in New Zealand is the feelgood story of the Wallabies' 30-man squad and caps an incredible rise after his career looked over just 18 months ago.

"It's a dream come true," Samo said of his surprise selection. "A lot of rugby players, even though they play Test footy they always want to play in a World Cup."

He added: "It comes around every four years so I'm proud of myself to make the 30-man squad ...If I didn't make it then that would have been the end for me."

Samo's selection is a case of third time lucky for the hard-running number eight after he missed out on a spot in Fiji's squad in 2003, while he was not eligible for Australia for the last tournament as he was playing in Europe.

He admits he thought he would never get the opportunity to play at the World Cup when he headed to France in 2007 but the support of Deans and his family changed all that.

"When I went overseas I really thought that was it for me," Samo said.

"Until last year when I came back I got a call from Robbie (Deans) that really pushed me hard for the World Cup this year.

"And all my family, my brothers and my uncle, they stuck by me and kept pushing me every week to work hard and to play hard."

"This is for them too."

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