All Blacks star hints at rugby league switch

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All Blacks star hints at rugby league switch

Hurricanes and All Blacks flyer Julian Savea has revealed that he could leave the 15-a-side game and make a switch to Rugby League.

 
 

The 27-year-old’s current New Zealand Rugby (NZR) contract expires at the end of 2019, but he has not been part of the All Blacks side since the three-Test series against the British and Irish Lions earlier this year.

But Savea’s record of 46 tries in 54 Test means he’s still a big drawcard across both rugby codes when his contract comes up for renewal.

“It’s always been in the back of my mind,” Savea told Newshub of a possible switch to rugby league.

“I haven’t had any reason to leave rugby, [but] I’d definitely think about it. You can’t not think about it and not say no straight away, weigh up the pros and cons and what’s best for my family.”

Savea was in and out of the Hurricanes’ and New Zealand’s run-on sides in 2016 due to concerns over his fitness and form. He was also left out of the Hurricanes’ starting line-up during this year’s Super Rugby competition and he only represented the All Blacks twice this year.

That was in the 78-0 demolition of Samoa, in which he scored a try, and in the third Test against the Lions.

He was left out of the All Blacks’ squads for the Rugby Championship and end-of-year tour with Rieko Ioane replacing him on the left wing in the world champions’ starting XV.

Savea was left to play for the Wellington Lions, who he helped gain promotion to the Mitre 10 Cup Premiership for 2018. He also played against the All Blacks for the Barbarians but had a quiet game as the world champions claimed a 31-22 victory.

“I guess [being dropped] can play a lot on your mind,” he added.

“Especially with the confidence – do you start believing you’re not good enough or say stuff it and work harder and work your butt off?

“For me, I like the challenges. I’ve had adversity before, I just can’t wait to get the season started.”

 
 

 
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