Wallabies

Timu, Paenga-Amosa handed Test debuts

The Reds pair have been named at hooker and No. 8, respectively, with Pete Samu also set to make his debut from the bench.

Timu's inclusion pushes David Pocock to blindside flanker, with captain Michael Hooper to start at openside.

Izack Rodda will pack down alongside Adam Coleman in the second row, with Sekope Kepu earning the nod over Taniela Tupou at tighthead prop.

Faingaa owns firebrand tag

The 23-year-old landed himself in hot water in the 63rd minute of the Brumbies' big win over the Bulls in Pretoria a fortnight ago - shown a red card after headbutting Matthys Basson.

The sendoff came with the match precariously poised and while ACT went on to claim a season defining win, Faingaa can't makes the same mistake against Ireland, should he earn a debut.

The hit first, think later approach to his game is exactly why Faingaa is in the frame for a debut but he knows the aggression he brings to the side must be controlled.

NZR asking $50k for Samu: report

The Samu saga took an intriguing twist late on Thursday when NZ Rugby said it would allow Crusaders loose forward Samu to be temporarily released from his NZR contract to play for Australia in the three-Test series in June but with conditions on it.

NZR refused to disclose the conditions, but The Daily Telegraph are reporting NZR are asking for $50,000 and that their Australian counterparts are unlikely to agree to the deal.

Cheika names June Series squad with room for one more

Samu signed a two-year deal with the Brumbies this week, making the Melbourne-born forward eligible for the Wallabies, pending a release from New Zealand Rugby, due to his Super Rugby contract obligations.

It's a decision NZR said on Tuesday they were still mulling over and on Wednesday night, when Cheika named his squad, he said he couldn't pick Samu, but the backrower had a spot in the squad should he be released.

NZR hold Cheika in limbo over Samu

There are five uncapped players in Cheika's 33-man squad but Samu who signed with a two-year deal with the Brumbies this week isn't one of them.

Rugby Australia had submitted an official request to New Zealand Rugby for the release of the Australian born Samu but approval was yet to come through.

While World Rugby's regulations force the release of players for Test duty in June, there is a sub-clause that allows unions to deny such requests when the player holds dual eligibility.

Tupou wants another taste of Test rugby

Tupou has had a career year as Queensland's go to option at tighthead prop, his scrummaging and defensive work now complementing the world class carries which made him a YouTube sensation.

He is arguably the form prop in the country and that will have him firmly part of Wallabies coach Michael Cheika's plans when Ireland come to town in June.

"I really hope I'll be able to get a chance to play later on this year," Tupou said.

"I've been focusing on the Reds but if I get a chance to play again that would be awesome."

Speight signs Rugby Aus extension

Speight, 30, signed a one-year extension to remain in Australia until at least the end of the Rugby World Cup.

A veteran of 19 Tests, Speight was delighted to earn a longer stay, including with the Brumbies.

"There's still a lot to achieve with both the Brumbies and the Wallabies so I'm really excited to be staying in Canberra for another year," he said.

"The World Cup is a big target of mine. I really enjoyed the experience in 2015 but I want to go one step further next year so hopefully I'm part of that.

Hunt avoids drugs conviction

The 31-year-old's future remains in the hands of Rugby Australia, who say they have "resumed" an investigation into his conduct after prosecutors dropped a cocaine charge against him in court yesterday.

A statement from Rugby Australia said Hunt would continue his "voluntary stand- down" from all rugby duties until the matter is resolved.

It means his playing career is still in limbo, with the national governing body a chance of tearing up his contract for bringing the game into disrepute.

Wallabies star charged with drug possession

New Zealand-born Hunt, who moved to rugby union from Australian Rules Football and also had a career in rugby league, was allegedly arrested along with another man at 3am on Saturday morning.

The 31-year-old has allegedly been charged with two counts of drug possession and has been issued with a notice to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on January 29.

Rugby Australia released a statement confirming they had been made aware of an incident involving Hunt that led to his arrest by Queensland Police.

England claim controversial win

Criticised for their underwhelming display against Argentina last time out, England delivered a gritty display in miserable conditions at Twickenham - where rain fell throughout and knock-ons were plentiful - before surging clear with three tries in the final eight minutes.

Yet the visitors fumed at a host of refereeing calls, with yellow cards for Michael Hooper and Kurtley Beale coming in between the former seeing a try disallowed and Elliot Daly being awarded a controversial score for England.