The Hurricanes mean everything to Julian Savea, possibly even more than the All Blacks. The winger dismissed even considering signing for another NZ team before taking a deal with Toulon that will see him released from the remainder of his NZR contract.
“No disrespect to the other teams but hell no,” said Savea.
“I love this team and it’s always been a dream of mine to be here and this yellow jersey honestly means a lot to me. It’s probably the one jersey I’m going to miss the most.”
Savea was capped 120 times for the Hurricanes following his debut in 2011 and will go down as the second most prolific try-scorer for the All Blacks with 46 from 54 tests, just three shy of Doug Howlett’s 50. The powerful finisher last played for the All Blacks in July last year, and moved to the right wing in a bid to get back into national selection. With one year remaining on his current deal, the opportunity to move to Toulon was to good to pass up.
“It definitely comes into a big part of my decision. It’s probably about 80 percent why I’m going over. This is home so I’m going to miss everything about it. Even though it’s cold and windy, it’s home. I’m definitely going to miss this place, my friends and my family.”
“That’s the way rugby is nowadays. As much as I’m disappointed at not being in that team I’m really proud of the guys who are there now and doing the job. They’re taking the team to another level and I’m backing them for the World Cup next year.”
Savea noted winning the Rugby World Cup in 2015 and the Super Rugby title in 2016 as his most memorable achievements, along with playing with his younger brother Ardie.
“That’s always been special ever since he’s come into the team and built his own legacy and done his job to enhance the legacy. No doubt like me it’s the only team he’d ever want to play for.”
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