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'All about togetherness': Savea praises 'courageous' openly gay All Black

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)

Former international prop Campbell Johnstone made history earlier this week as he became the first All Blacks player to come out as gay.


Johnstone, who played three test matches in the black jersey, has been praised by some of New Zealand Rugby’s biggest following his ground-breaking announcement.

All Blacks halfback Brad Weber called Johnstone a “legend” on social media, while test veteran Aaron Smith praised him for his “bravery and mana.”

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Black Ferns superstar Ruby Tui has also celebrated the momentous news, saying she’s ‘never been more proud of an All Black.”

The New Zealand Rugby community has continued to express their admiration and support of Johnstone since his announcement on Monday evening, including Ardie Savea.

All Blacks loose forward Ardie Savea the latest player to share his support of Johnstone and his “courage.”

Savea, who became the All Blacks’ 70th Test captain in 2021 against Australia, said everyone would be “accepted” in the team today regardless of their sexual orientation.


“We’re all about togetherness. Regardless if you’re Samoan, (a) Pacific (Islander), you’re gay or straight you’re accepted and loved,” Savea said, as reported by Stuff.

“My belief is that you love everybody regardless of who you are.

“In this day and age you’d get accepted. In this society now a lot of people are accepting of that.”

Johnstone made the announcement on TVNZ earlier this week, as the former All Black spoke about how he wanted to ‘take away the pressure and the stigma surrounding that whole issue.”


As Savea discussed, Johnstone announcement is both “courageous” and “awesome” considering how it’s going to challenge old stereotypes associated with the sport.

“It takes a lot of courage. A lot of courage,” Savea added.

“Especially in rugby circles and how it’s been in the past, the old traditions of being a hard man.

“Seeing someone come out, I think it’s pretty courageous and it’s awesome.

“I know the doubts that would’ve been in his head, and he probably doesn’t really know how many people he has helped by what he’s done. Big ups to him.”


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