The ACT Brumbies have been dealt a major blow with star loose forward Pete Samu set to depart the club at the end of the season. French media have reported in recent days the 31-year-old will join Top 14 club Bordeaux-Bègles on a two-year deal from 2024. As a result, this year's World Cup will likely be his international swansong. Samu has emerged as a star for both the Brumbies and Wallabies in recent seasons and made his Test debut in 2018. The veteran's path to the international arena was a long one and he moved to New Zealand after failing to gain an opportunity in Australia. A long-awaited breakthrough came with the Crusaders in 2016, winning two Super Rugby titles before he returned home in 2018 and joined the Brumbies ahead of the 2019 season. His performances with the Crusaders were enough to earn a Wallabies debut in 2018 and he has represented his country on 32 occasions. MORE CANBERRA SPORT While his departure is a major blow for the Brumbies, the club has spent the past couple of seasons developing a talented crop of emerging loose forwards. Rob Valetini recently signed a four-year contract extension to remain with the club until the 2027 World Cup and provides a platform to build around. Youngsters Rory Scott, Luke Reimer and Tom Hooper have all shown they have what it takes to thrive since earning debuts in the last couple of seasons. The Brumbies are in the midst of contract discussions with a host of off-contract stars, with Len Ikitau, Nic White and James Slipper all eager to remain in Canberra. The arrival of Eddie Jones as Wallabies coach has slowed down some of those conversations as he maps out a plan for the next five years. Allan Alaalatoa signed a new deal in January, while Rugby Australia announced Waratahs forward Jed Holloway's re-signing on Thursday morning. The reports of Samu's departure come as the Brumbies prepare for their first home game of the season against the Queensland Reds on Saturday night. Coach Stephen Larkham has made a handful of changes to the squad that defeated the Auckland Blues last weekend. Wallabies stars Nic White and Noah Lolesio will start in the halves, with White to captain in place of the injured Allan Alaalatoa. The prop suffered a head knock last week and has been replaced by Rhys van Nek, with Tom Ross named on the bench. Ollie Sapsford will also make his first start of the season at inside centre, Ben O'Donnell set for a Super Rugby debut in jumper No.23 and Tamati Tua dropping out of the squad. Larkham was pleased with Ryan Lonergan and Jack Debreczeni's performances to start the season and backed White and Lolesio to take the side to new heights over the coming weeks. "We've got four really good players there," Larkham said. "We've got a job to do at the start of the game. Sometimes you make a decision as to whether you bring players off the bench or not. "What we've done over the last couple of weeks is given that halves combination 30 minutes at the back end of the game. They've found their feet in the game and closed the games out really well. "We'll do something similar this week, we'll give Whitey and Noah that opportunity to start the game and control it for most of the game. That last 20 to 30 minutes of the game, that's where those boys come in and learn a new skill." We've made it a whole lot easier for you to have your say. Our new comment platform requires only one log-in to access articles and to join the discussion on The Canberra Times website. Find out how to register so you can enjoy civil, friendly and engaging discussions. See our moderation policy here.