Savea determined to earn Hurricanes place

All Blacks wing Julian Savea wants to prove that he is worthy of a Vodacom Super Rugby contract in 2021 during what is effectively a two-week trial with the Hurricanes.

Savea linked up with his old team as a replacement for Ben Lam – who has departed to Europe – after returning to New Zealand from a two-season stint in France with Toulon.

However, there are just two games left for the Hurricanes to play in Super Rugby Aotearoa, with the franchise facing the Chiefs and Highlanders in the final two rounds of the tournament. Savea has already been ruled out of this weekend’s clash with the Chiefs, so the chances of him adding to his Hurricanes appearances are slim.

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Despite this, Savea told media in New Zealand that he would like to do his best to earn a contract with the Hurricanes.

‘I hope so, I would love to [play for the Hurricanes next year] but it’s out of my hands at the moment, so we’ll see how that unfolds,’ Savea said.

‘My mentality is just put my best foot forward and just show the coaches what I’ve still got and see what happens. I’m pretty keen to stay here but I’m open to anything, so we’ll see what happens. It’s just special to be back here with the brothers, and obviously especially with Ardie.

“If I don’t get to play for the Hurricanes, I’ll definitely be able to play some club footy. I haven’t properly played since March or April so I’m pretty keen to get stuck into things, whether it’s for the Canes or for a club.’

Hurricanes assistant coach Cory Jane said there was still merit to signing Savea on a permanent basis and urged him to come out ‘all guns blazing’ in training.

‘He can still play the game, he’s still young enough. He’s only turning 30, I think, so he’s still a baby, and there’s an opportunity to look at him over the next couple of weeks in the environment and see what happens there. The opportunity was there, so we’ll see what happens.

‘The best part is he can come out here and compete [in training] and whatever happens, happens in terms of if he gets to play this week or if he plays next week, or if he gets a contract next year.

‘The best thing he can do is come out here all guns blazing and see what happens. He looks in pretty good nick, I shook his hand before and he nearly tore it off, so he seems strong in that aspect.’

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