Reports of a revamped Super Rugby competition including a Pacific Island franchise has received the endorsement of one major All Black, with loose forward Ardie Savea saying that ‘it will be amazing to see’.
The Hurricanes star said that he feels like the game hasn’t done enough for the Pacific islands, despite a high percentage of the professional players around the globe holding Pasifika heritage.
“That’s something that gets my heart pumping, because I feel like we haven’t done enough for the Pacific islands,” Savea told media at Hurricanes training this afternoon.
“To hear that we are considering putting a Pacific island team in this competition is amazing.
“I think it is great to give back to the islands and the people that have given so much to this sport.
“Hopefully that gets through, or something happens, it will be amazing to see.
“The idea of having another Super Rugby team, man, come on, let’s go. It gets me up because you see so many teams across the world, All Blacks, it’s Pasifika dominated.
Savea has seen the reports of former All Blacks involved in the ownership of the proposed MLR expansion franchise in Hawaii and expressed a desire to be a part of it one day.
“I see ex-All Blacks involved in that, and it’s something I’d love to be a part of in the future and get an understanding of how that works.
When asked if he wanted to be a part of it, he affirmed he certainly wouldn’t rule it out.
“Of course, I’d consider it, 100%.”
In the here and now, Savea prepares to face the Crusaders this weekend after returning from injury to help lift the Hurricanes to three straight wins.
In each of the games, the 26-year-old has registered 80-minutes and played at Number 8 to accomodate the in-form Du’Plessis Kirifi.
“The old Ardie would have told coach to pull me off or give me a certain amount of minutes. I don’t know what it is, I’m just enjoying playing 80 minutes,” he said.
“Whatever coach wants, if it’s 80 minutes then 80 minutes. If it’s for 5, 10 weeks in a row, I’ll do it.
Savea said he has had no discussions with Ian Foster or the All Blacks selectors around his future with the side yet, saying that he is just happy to be back on the field.
“I’m just getting used to playing at 8 now so I’m enjoying it. To be honest, 7, 6, 8, I’m just happy to be on the field starting, even if they put me at 12.
Despite being a different role, the workload on the body ends up being similar.
“When you play 7 you are tackling a lot more, at 8 it’s more carrying. When you are running into guys like Patty Tups and that, it is quite challenging.
“I’d say the amount of contact you do is the same, it’s just a different kind of contact.”
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