Alden Williams/Fairfax NZ
The Crusaders' new recruit, Tasman Makos flanker Pete Samu, bursts through the Bay of Plenty defence to score.
The Crusaders have signed the Tasman Makos' ball-running backrower Pete Samu for the 2016 Super Rugby season.
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder confirmed on Monday that Samu would step up to the Super Rugby ranks after impressing for the Crusaders Knights development team this year.
Samu, 23, was born in Melbourne and played club rugby for Randwick in Sydney and was briefly a member of the Waratahs' wider training group in Michael Foley's coaching reign.
He crossed the Tasman at the start of 2014 to play club rugby in Nelson after Tasman Rugby Union chief executive Tony Lewis, a former Randwick club member, recommended him to Makos coach Kieran Keane.
Samu is one of the leading try-scorers in this year's NPC with five touchdowns.
"He's a success story, really," Blackadder said. "Pete wasn't in the [Crusaders] wider training group at the start of this year, but he came down and was part of the Crusaders Knights.
"His performances were just outstanding and we brought him into the wider raining group as injury cover."
Blackadder said Samu was voted the Crusaders Knights player of the year. "We were really impressed with him."
The Australian flanker first caught Blackadder's eye in the national provincial championship last season on the Makos' march to the premiership final.