Ardie Savea

All Blacks reveal their new leaders

Sam Whitelock, who led the side in the first two Bledisloe Cup tests, didn't travel to Perth on Thursday, as he's remaining in New Zealand for the birth of the newest addition to his family.

Veteran halfback Aaron Smith, who captained the All Blacks in the first test against Fiji last month, also didn't make the trip.

Savea led the Hurricanes in Super Rugby this year in the absence of TJ Perenara.

He has played 52 tests since making his debut in 2016 and came off the bench in the All Blacks' first Rugby Championship test at Eden Park earlier this month.

Savea opens up on possibility of filling in for Sam Cane as All Blacks captain

Cane has been sidelined for four-to-six months with a pectoral injury that will likely keep him out of the July test schedule, which is expected comprise of two Italy tests and a clash against Fiji.

While speaking to media earlier this week, Savea labelled the loss of Cane as a “massive blow”, but was hopeful his fellow loose forward can make a swift recovery.

“It’s unfortunate but I know with Sammy, he’s strong and he’s been through the trenches before with previous injuries so I’m sure he’ll come back stronger and better,” Savea said.

Savea brothers' Samoan language journey

Returning to the Hurricanes set-up this year ater spending a three year spell with Toulon in France, fan favourite and former All Blacks wing Savea said he's learning to speak Samoan in order to develop his connection with his culture.

Although his parents speak Samoan, Savea says speaking the language fluently will be new to him.

"Mum and Dad spoke to us quite a bit so we understood it but not in terms of speaking it fluently so hence I'm trying to learn it and be more fluent in that aspect of my life," he said.

Ardie Savea knew it was time to step up

"Alfie (Hurricanes coach Jason Holland) approached me and Colesy (Dane Coles) talked to me and at first I was like, 'Oh nah', you know, playing it down. But, I knew deep down in my heart that this season, at this time of my career, I think it's time for me to step up and step out of my comfort zone and try something that I'm not used to. I usually just go out there and play, but it's time to lead."

The loose forward succeeds All Blacks teammates Dane Coles and TJ Perenara, who shared the leadership duties in 2020.

Savea said he's been inspired by the hooker and halfback.

Savea to rejoin All Blacks 'late this week'

Savea and Laulala didn't travel with the All Blacks squad to Sydney on Sunday as they are both on paternity leave.

"Ardie's baby boy's arrived so he'll be joining us late this week," All Blacks coach Ian Foster said.

"I'm not sure of the exact day, they're sorting that out, but he'll be over this weekend for us.

"Nep's baby hasn't been born yet so we'll let that happen first and then we'll plan accordingly.

"But the plan is that they're ready and available for the second Bled over there."

Ardie Savea returns for Hurricanes

The 44-test loose forward will come off the bench in Sunday's Super Rugby Aotearoa clash with the Blues in Auckland.

Gareth Evans is at number 8, with Du'Plessis Kirifi at openside and Reed Prinsep at blindside.

Dane Coles starts at hooker and co-captains the team with fellow All Black, halfback TJ Perenara.

Jackson Garden-Bachop is at first-five with Ngani Laumape at second-five. Chase Tiatia is at fullback in the absence of the injured Jordie Barrett.

Head coach, Jason Holland says the team is raring to go.

All Blacks' Ardie Savea sets sights on representing Samoa

A day after revealing he harbours a dream of competing in the NRL for a powerhouse club such as Melbourne or the Sydney Roosters, Savea says his heart is also set on donning a Toa Samoa jersey.

His comments to a podcast host earlier on Tuesday reaffirmed his desire to play the 13-man code from as early as next year, when his NZ Rugby contract expires.

"A big part of why I wanted to go to league was because I could play for Samoa, because of the rules," he told Trackside radio. "So that's been a thing that's pondered my mind. 

All Blacks star Ardie Savea to give goggles experiment another shot

Unfortunately for Hurricanes supporters and fans of Savea’s all-action style, the loose forward won’t make a Super Rugby appearance until well into the second half of the season but confirmed yesterday he was committed to the space age eyewear which caused a storm at last year’s World Cup.

The confirmation will add even more interest to the 26-year-old’s eventual return, not least from new All Blacks coach Ian Foster.

All Blacks Savea surgery boost

Savea, who was named last week as New Zealand Rugby’s Player of the Year, was initially expected to be out of action for up to six months.

However former Hurricanes coach, John Plumtree, told reporters in Auckland the dynamic loose forward could be back within four months.

Plumtree was elevated into an assistant coaching role with the New Zealand team under new coach Ian Foster on Thursday.

Savea and McMenamin voted NZ players' player of the year

The loose forwards came out on top of the New Zealand Rugby Players Association poll.

Savea beat out fellow nominees Beauden Barrett, Anton Lienert-Brown, Kieran Read and Codie Taylor, while McMenamin edged Eloise Blackwell, Kendra Cocksedge and Ayesha Leti-l'iga.

Ruby Tui was voted women's sevens player of the year, with Tone Ng Shiu men's sevens player of the year.