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‘With all due respect’: Ardie Savea responds to Eddie Jones’ ‘economy’ dig

By Finn Morton
Captain Ardie Savea has laughed off Eddie Jones’ belief that the New Zealand economy will “suffer” if the All Blacks fail to beat the Wallabies at the MCG this weekend.

Captain Ardie Savea has laughed off a question that follows Eddie Jones’ belief that the New Zealand economy will “suffer” if the All Blacks fail to beat the Wallabies at the MCG this weekend.


The All Blacks revealed their team to take on arch-rivals Australia on the hallowed turf of the ‘G’ on Thursday afternoon, before flying into enemy territory later that day.

There was a daunting challenge waiting for them across the ditch. Wallabies coach Eddie Jones piled more pressure on the visitors, who were already the heavy favourites ahead of this Test.

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After talking up the Wallabies’ chances for about 20 minutes, Jones kicked off the war of words ahead of Bledisloe I by saying the fate of the New Zealand economy rests on the All Blacks’ shoulders.

“There’s nothing better than winning against New Zealand because you feel the country sinking,” Jones told reporters on Thursday.

“It’s not just rugby that sinks, the country sinks. The whole economy goes down. The Prime Minister is there with his fingers crossed hoping the All Blacks win because he knows the economy is going to drop if they lose.

“Maybe put the New Zealand Prime Minister on call that the economy is going to suffer and at the same time raise our stakes here.”


Ardie Savea will captain the All Blacks on Saturday evening in the absence of Sam Cane, with the star flanker failing to overcome a neck strain. Cane picked up the injury during the first half against South Africa a fortnight ago.


On the eve of the All Blacks’ next Test – before even training with his teammates on Australian soil – stand in skipper Savea fronted a sea of reporters in Southbank, Melbourne.

During the press conference, the seemingly inevitable topic of Eddie Jones’ cheeky dig at the New Zealand economy was raised.

Asked whether a win over the Wallabies would be good for the economy back in Aotearoa, Savea laughed before giving an answer.


“It’d be good mate, it’d be very good,” Savea.

“(But) I try to stay away from, with all due respect, the media and not read stuff like that.”

Coach Jones laid down the gauntlet with his “economy” message to the All Blacks ahead of this Test match. It’s more than just about rugby now.

But should they win, the All Blacks will retain the prestigious Bledisloe Cup for another year. The match kicks off at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday evening.


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Kenward K. 356 days ago

The Emperor's New Clothes. A literary folktale about a vain emperor who gets exposed before his subjects.

Pecos 357 days ago

Eddie needs stronger meds.

Willie 358 days ago

Excellent response to an idiotic Jones comment.

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Shaylen 5 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

These guys will be utility players Nick it cannot be helped because coaches cannot help themselves. Rassie looks at players like these and sees the ability to cover multiple positions without losing much. It allows the 6-2 or 7-1. He wont change his coaching style or strategy for one player. At provincial level players like these are indispensable. If there is an injury to your starting 12 but your back up 12 is a bit iffy then a coach is going to go with the back up 10 who is gold and who can play a good 12. Damian Willemse for the Springboks is an obvious case, for the Stormers its the same. Dobson plays him at 12 or 15, with Gelant in the team he plays 12 but if Gelant goes down he doesnt go for his back up 15, he just puts Willemse there. With Frawley its the same at international and provincial level. He just slots in wherever. Frans Steyn made a career out of it. He was much maligned though as a youngster as he never fully developed into any role. He then went to Japan and France to decide for himself what kind of player he was, put on muscle and retained his big boot, ran over players and booted the ball long and came back into the Springboks after about 3 years away and was then certain about how he wanted to play the game no matter what position. Coaches cannot help themselves because they only want what is best for their teams and that means putting your most talented players on even if it means you cause them some discomfort. Sometimes players need to decide how they want to play the game and then adapt that to every position and let the coach decide how they want to use them.

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Jon 11 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

I think the main problem here is the structure of both countries make up. They are going to have very similar.. obstacles(not problems). It will just be part of the evolution of their rugby and they’ll need to find a way to make this versatility more advantageous than specialization. I think South Africa are well on the way to that end already, but Ireland are more likely to have a hierarchical approach and move players around the provinces. Ioane is going to be more than good enough to lock up one of those available positions for more than a few years I believe though. Morgan would definitely be a more long term outlook. Sacha to me has the natural footwork of a second five. Not everything is about winning, if a team has 3 players that want to play 10s just give them all a good go even if its to the detriment of everyone, this is also about dreams of the players, not just the fans. This is exactly how it would be in an amateur club setting. Ultimately some players just aren’t suited to any one position. The example was of a guy that had size and speed, enough pace to burn, power to drive, and speed to kick and pass long, but just not much else when it came to actual rugby (that matched it). New Zealand has it’s own example with Jordie Barrett and probably shows what Reece Hodge could have been if the game in Australia had any administration. Despite the bigger abundance of talent in NZ, Jordie was provided with consistent time as a fullback, before being ushered in as a second five. Possibly this was due to his blood, and another might not have been as fortunate, but it is what it was, a complete contrast to how Hodge was used in Australia, were he could have had any position he wanted. When it comes down to it though, much like these young fellas, it will be about what they want, and I think you’ll find they’ll be like Hodge and just want to be as valuable to the team as they can and play wherever. It’s not like 63 International Cap is a hard thing to live with as a result of that decision!

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