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The Springbok Ardie Savea 'always' tries to smash

By Ian Cameron
Ardie Savea of New Zealand walks through the tunnel after the warm up prior to the Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and South Africa at Stade de France on October 28, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Adam Pretty - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

Despite the apparent rivalry with South African lock Eben Etzebeth, New Zealand’s Ardie Savea has revealed it’s a different Springbok that he always aims to ‘smash’ on the paddock.

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In an interview with Jim Hamilton on RugbyPass TV, the All Blacks No.8 reveals it’s Siya Kolisi that he’s always eager to smash. Reflecting on his early life, Savea shared that he didn’t grow up watching South Africa versus New Zealand matches live due to not having Sky TV at home. Despite this, he has risen to become one of the most formidable players in international rugby.

Savea – who shares a strong off-field friendship with Kolisi – says it’s because of their friendship that he’s out to put one on the South African icon.

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Walk the Talk – Ardie Savea Trailer | RPTV

All Blacks ace Ardie Savea chatted to Jim Hamilton in Japan, reflecting on the RWC 2023 experience, life in Japan, playing for the All Blacks and what the future holds. Watch now on RugbyPass TV

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Walk the Talk – Ardie Savea Trailer | RPTV

All Blacks ace Ardie Savea chatted to Jim Hamilton in Japan, reflecting on the RWC 2023 experience, life in Japan, playing for the All Blacks and what the future holds. Watch now on RugbyPass TV

WATCH NOW

“It’s funny bro. I don’t play even play rugby to hurt people. I go to play because I love it.

“Me and Eben, he’s a beast. I’m like a fan of him. We’ve had a few moments against each other, but not intentionally.

“I always try to smash Siya, because he’s a good mate of mine. People always get weird because we have a great relationship and we represent two big rugby nations. It’s like bro, it’s like boys, when you’re best mates you want to smash that guy.

“I always try to smash Siya but it’s not intentional with Eben. We just happen to be two players that go bloody hard.”

Savea and Kolisi have a lot in common, both being prominent loose forwards for their respective national teams and leaders who have had an impact on and off the field.

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Savea also lifted the lid on his ‘growling’ – a feature of his ball carrying that has been picked up by referee mics in recent years.

“I find when I scream, I feel like I get extra power in my carry. For me because I’m light, I need it. There’s some big boys. It all stems from when I was young, I used to play three grades up. I used to play with Jules [Savea’s older brother Julian], so I was playing against guys way bigger than me.

“I had to find ways to tackle them or carry through them, so that growl has been there since college.”

The No.8 admitted he was ‘shit scared’ when he carries.

“I go around the corner and I’m about to catch the ball, I’m scared. Scared of the guys in front of me.

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“For me, my mindset is that I understand my game and what my strengths are. I’m never gone to get the ball and run it straight at two guys that weigh 140kg, because I’m just going to get smashed. I try to use my strengths, that’s my footwork, my power and my speed and find weak shoulders and that… and hopefully not get smashed. I’ve been lucky enough not to a few times.”

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Watch the exclusive reveal-all episode of Walk the Talk with Ardie Savea as he chats to Jim Hamilton about the RWC 2023 experience, life in Japan, playing for the All Blacks and what the future holds. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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Comments

1 Comment
P
Paul 25 days ago

What a legend and a true reflection of NZ rugby.
We are all brothers as we all love Raggas.
Go Boks!!!!

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