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'Surely in line for a recall': Growing calls for an All Black return for Savea

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)

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There were shades of the old Julian Savea in Dunedin last night as the Hurricanes winger bulldozed his way through the Highlanders on multiple occasions which has sparked talk of an All Black recall.

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The 31-year-old was at his blockbusting best in the first half, running through the Highlanders midfield on a well worked scrum play that almost resulted in a fantastic individual try.

Savea discarded Highlanders left wing Scott Gregory with a vintage bump off in the backfield before crashing over in a two man tackle.

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The ball slipped out of his fingertips at the last second which denied him a try that would have gone straight to his career highlight reel.

Highlanders second five Thomas Umaga-Jensen also got similar treatment from ‘The Bus’ in the second half, coming off second best in a collison with Savea.

The Hurricanes right wing finished with five defenders beaten on six carries for 46 running metres as his side held on for a 22-21 win.

Savea’s form with ball-in-hand has been building throughout Super Rugby Pacfic, with his strong carries a highlight so far. He took to Twitter to claim ‘age is just a number’ with some of his best carries in 2022.

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Newshub reporter Patrick Gower claimed that Savea was ‘surely in line’ for an All Black recall following his performance against the Highlanders, which was a sentiment shared by many fans.

Foster’s All Blacks in 2021 featured Crusaders Sevu Reece, Will Jordan and George Bridge as the preferred wingers, who will again provide stiff competition for Savea to break back into the squad as a winger.

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The Hurricanes have used him on the right wing, which would pit him against Jordan or Reece, who both scored tries against the Blues on Friday night. Savea might have to bank on teammate Jordie Barrett’s move to 12 being permanent.

If Barrett, who was last year’s fullback choice, earns selection in the All Black midfield this year, there might be room for Savea on the wing if Will Jordan fills the 15 jersey in Foster’s back line.

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