Ardie Savea has opened up on his close friendship with Springbok captain Siya Kolisi as the two loose forwards plan for a reunion on Sunday.
In an exclusive interview with the Times UK, Savea spoke about being overlooked for the Player of the Year award for the second year in a row.
During the interview, Savea was on a phonecall with Springbok captain Siya Kolisi and the two made plans to meet up on Sunday, after their respective Test matches.
In last year’s Rugby Championship, Savea and Kolisi were opposition captains in the 100th Test between New Zealand and South Africa.
“People have this mentality that we are supposed to hate each other, which is old school,” Savea told the Times.
“We are best friends. We will go out for dinner three days before we play each other in a game — but the one guy I want to smash on the field is Siya.”
When World Rugby announced the nomination for the top men’s player award on Monday, Savea’s name was conspicuous by its absence.
The 29-year-old has enjoyed another sensational year, playing a crucial role as an inconsistent All Blacks side bounced back from a historic series loss to Ireland by winning the Rugby Championship and embarking on a seven-game unbeaten run.
“Again?” Savea told the Times.
“But I spoke to my wife. I play to put smiles on people’s faces. If people are coming to watch me and enjoy it, then that is what I do it for.”
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