SYDNEY // Timana Tahu was a granted a release from his contract by the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) today, paving the way for the dual international to return to rugby league. The winger, 28, who made a highly publicised switch to rugby union from league in 2008, had asked for an early release from his ARU contract, which was to expire after the 2011 World Cup. He made four appearances for the Wallabies in his first year but was not selected for any of Australia's early Tests this season, prompting his request for an early release.
"Timana approached us with a request to be released from his contract," the ARU High Performance boss David Nucifora said in a statement. "Through amicable discussions we have reached a resolution which has satisfied all the parties involved." Tahu, who played five Tests for the Kangaroos before he switched to union, is the last of the four high-profile dual internationals to leave the Wallabies after the ARU began recruiting league players in recent years to bolster their ranks.
Wendell Sailor, Mat Rogers and Lote Tuqiri all played for the Wallabies after crossing codes before departing. Sailor's 37-Test union career ended in 2006 when he was suspended for two-years after testing positive for cocaine. He has since rejoined rugby league. Rogers rejoined rugby league in 2007, giving up the chance of playing in a second World Cup, after becoming disenchanted with the game despite making 45 Test appearances.
Tuqiri played 67 Tests and at two World Cups for the Wallabies but was sacked earlier this year for disciplinary reasons which have not been made public. Tuqiri is taking legal action against the ARU over his dismissal and is yet to decide his future but has been linked with a return to rugby league. *Reuters