All Blacks, sevens bonus for the Savea boys

NICOLA ABERCROMBIE
Last updated 16:00 14/05/2012
Julian and Ardie Savea

GOOD TIMES: Hurricanes wing Julian Savea was named in the first All Blacks training squad of the year while younger brother Ardie was part of the New Zealand sevens team, which clinched a 10th world series title in London.

Julian Savea
DIEGO OPATOWSKI/Fairfax NZ
CALL-UP: Hurricanes wing Julian Savea earned a call-up to Steve Hansen's 35-man All Blacks squad.
Ardie Savea
Getty Images
VICTORIOUS: Ardie Savea played a part in New Zealand clinching a 10th IRB world sevens series title in London.

Related Links

Fresh talent for Hansen's All Blacks squad Lucky Lukes in All Blacks training squad Reprieve could come for Guildford or Gear NZ capture 10th world sevens series title Faumuina suffers cruelest selection fate

Relevant offers

All Blacks

Ex-All Blacks prop Carl Hayman hints at quitting Toulon for New Zealand return Former All Blacks prop Carl Hayman hits out at French dope testers Wayne Smith: I won't coach against sides I love A formula to help Steve Hansen solve the All Black No 10 conundrum An openly gay All Black remains 'the final frontier' Brian O'Driscoll says Dan Carter key to All Blacks’ hopes of retaining World Cup Teens in court over Leon MacDonald rugby shirt burglary Wayne Smith: All Blacks can improve to stay ahead of the pack Sonny Bill Williams: Code-hoping cool for sportsmen Wayne Smith takes on defence for All Blacks coaching return

There will be 35 happy households today after the first All Blacks training squad for 2012 was named, but perhaps none more excited than the Saveas.

While Julian Savea enjoyed a good night's sleep after earning his first All Black call-up, his brother Ardie was busy helping the New Zealand sevens team win their 10th world series title in London.

The pair have not yet spoken but there was understandably an extra spring in the winger's step after the double dose of good news.

"I haven't spoken to him yet but I'm very proud of him, they've won their 10th world series and he's going really well," said the 21-year-old, who received his good news via text message yesterday.

"I was at my auntie's house actually and got the text to confirm my number and then the next text was to say congratulations so I was very excited."

Savea had a challenging year in 2011, struggling for form in a handful of appearances for the Hurricanes, but in 2012 has been the in-form winger of the competition, putting his resurgence down to self-belief.

"Last year I made a lot of errors and I think just lost my confidence. This year I've worked really hard to get my fitness up and be able to do a lot more work around the field and that's given me a lot more confidence."

Savea joins teammates and seasoned All Blacks Cory Jane, Conrad Smith and Victor Vito in the extended training squad, as well as fellow newbies Brad Shields and Beauden Barrett.

Fullback Andre Taylor and halfback TJ Perenara were the casualties in Wellington, with Taylor, one of the top try scorers in the competition, particularly unlucky to miss out.

"We had a pool session this morning and Andre's pretty disappointed but he'll keep trucking and playing well for the Hurricanes I'm sure. There's a lot of quality halfbacks out there and TJ 's a pretty young player so he's not too disappointed," said Barrett.

While Taylor was perhaps the biggest loser, the Hurricanes also had the surprise winner in Shields, who has spent most of this Super Rugby season coming off the bench for the Hurricanes.

"To be honest I didn't think I was really in the running but then the text came through so I was pretty shocked, but happy at the same time," said the flanker, who joins the ranks of those hoping to replace the Japan-bound Jerome Kaino.

"I look at it as just another opportunity, just to go out there and grab it with two hands and do my best. Jerome's are pretty big shoes to fill. I'll just come, play my game and hope that'll be enough over time."

Barrett's call-up was less surprising, with the No 10 admitting to having talks with Steve Hansen and the coaching staff ahead of his selection. But with the best first-five in world rugby in Dan Carter and the Chief's Aaron Cruden already proven All Blacks, he has some steep competition.

Ad Feedback

"They're both quality players, I'm just going in there to put my best foot forward and make the most of my opportunities. I don't really have anything to lose at this stage."

- Stuff

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who was the best-performed All Blacks forward on the northern tour?

Dane Coles

Nathan Harris

Keven Mealamu

Wyatt Crockett

Charlie Faumuina

Ben Franks

Owen Franks

Joe Moody

Brodie Retallick

Luke Romano

Jeremy Thrush

Patrick Tuipulotu

Sam Whitelock

Sam Cane

Jerome Kaino

Richie McCaw

Liam Messam

Kieran Read

Vitor Vito

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content