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Savea explains cross-code switch temptation

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All Blacks star Ardie Savea reveals why he is considering a move to rugby league

By NZ Herald

All Blacks loose forward Ardie Savea has revealed the driving force that could see him switch to rugby league.

The 44-test Hurricanes star made a shock announcement during an interview with former Warrior Isaac John on the Ice Project podcast that he wanted to play in the NRL.

Savea doubled down on the comments in a second interview with Staf Chat podcast with the TAB’s Mark Stafford.

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The All Black said the chance to represent Samoa was a big reason why he was looking at a change in code.

“This might blow-up. I thought of rugby league. I thought of giving that a crack or trying to give it a crack. But a massive one for me that I would love to do is play for Samoa,” he said on the podcast.

“A big part of why I wanted to go to league was because I could play for Samoa because of the rules. So that’s been a thing that’s pondered my mind.

“[I’ve] been following hard out on the World Rugby rules and that stuff. For me it’s how proud the Samoan people are and I know how much Samoans give to rugby internationally…my old man’s face if he knew that I was going to play [for Samoa].”

Savea, who was one of the standout All Blacks during last year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan, is still recovering from a serious knee injury sustained in the semifinal defeat to England.

Asked by John if he was considering a move to the NRL, Savea said he was “low-key thinking about it for next year”.

“100 per cent I want to play rugby league, I think they do a lot more in terms of off the field stuff… and also, just a new challenge. I want to test myself,” Savea said.

“Learning a whole new game and seeing if I can dominate or play the way I play in union, if I can do that in league, excites me. Seeing guys like Sonny [Bill Williams, former All Blacks teammate] do it and how that’s benefited him that kind of pondered my mind.”

Williams has just completed a return to league with the Toronto Wolfpack, after 10 years playing union, in a deal reportedly worth $10 million.

Savea wouldn’t be joining the Warriors, though.

“Strategically I would go to a team that’s good…that’s dominating, like the [Melbourne] Storm or the [Sydney] Roosters,” Savea said.

This article first appeared on nzherald.co.nz and was republished with permission.

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All Blacks star Ardie Savea reveals why he is considering a move to rugby league
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