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'Huge honour and privilege': Savea reacts to ABs Player of the Year Award

By Finn Morton
Ardie Savea. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

All Blacks Player of the Year Ardie Savea has spoken about how much of an “honour and privilege” it is to win the award in a video message online.

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Rampaging backrower Savea was simply phenomenal in practically every Test match he played this season, and many believed he was a staggering omission from World Rugby’s dream team.

The All Blacks just wouldn’t be the same team without his tireless work ethic, bulldozing runs that make professionals look like schoolboys, or of course his wild dummy passes.

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While Savea truly was in a class of his own for many Test matches this season, look no further than the impact he had during the win over Wales.

Not only did the powerful Number Eight cross for a try late in the piece, but he carried the ball for 15 runs and made 10 tackles without missing any.

That’s world-class.

Savea may have controversially missed out on the dream team, as well as World Rugby’s Player of the Year for that matter, but he was clearly thrilled to have won this award.

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In a video message that was shared on Instagram by both Savea and the All Blacks, the 29-year-old gave a “massive shoutout” to fellow nominees Samisoni Taukei’aho and Jordie Barrett.

“I just want to say (it’s) a huge honour and privilege to win the Player of the Year Award,” Savea said in a video shared by the All Blacks on social media.

“It’s pretty special being part of the All Blacks and being part of the brothership and brotherhood of the team.

“Just want to make a massive shoutout to my brothers, the coaches, Samisoni (Taukei’aho) and Jordie (Barrett) for being nominated as well.

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“It’s pretty special man. Just want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Stay safe in the festive season. To be continued.”

While Savea won the All Blacks’ top honour at the 2022 ASB Rugby Awards on Thursday night, Black Ferns co-captain Ruahei Demant stole the show.

The Rugby World Cup winning co-captain and flyhalf won three awards last night, including the coveted Kelvin R. Tremain Memorial Player of the Year.

Demant was also crowned the Black Ferns’ Player of the Year, and the Tom French Memorial Maori Player of the Year, following New Zealand’s epic win over England in the World Cup final.

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