Julian Savea believes that he has regained his love for the sport since his omission from the New Zealand squad.
Julian Savea has revealed he hasn’t had any communication with All Blacks coach Steve Hansen since being left out of New Zealand’s squad for their five-match tour of Europe, but admitted he has regained his love for rugby.
The powerful winger was left out of the back-to-back world champions’ party for their tour of the northern hemisphere, which kicks off with a fixture against the Barbarians, for whom Savea will represent live on Sky Sports Action on Saturday.
Savea, nicknamed ‘The Bus’, will return to international rugby for the first time since featuring for the All Blacks against the British & Irish Lions during their hotly contested drawn test series hoping to remind Hansen and the All Blacks coaching staff of his abilities.
“He hasn’t talked to me,” said Savea, when asked what Hansen had told him to do in order to get back into the All Blacks’ ranks.
“They are just sort of leaving me alone,” Savea expanded. “Refresh and just play some rugby. I am enjoying it.
“I love being at home. It’s actually been awesome just being around friends and family and actually regaining that love of rugby and why I play. At the moment it is going good and what they are doing I guess is giving me a little extra fire.
“Being a part of it is special and obviously not being a part (of the New Zealand squad) the motivation is there to (put that right). It is a goal and I am trying to put myself in the best shape to get there.”
The 27-year-old has made just five appearances in the last 12 months for his country and despite the opportunity to impress against some of his national teammates is not going into the encounter looking to prove a point.
“I am not going in with that mindset,” said Savea, after Ian Foster, the All Blacks’ assistant coach, suggested Savea could prepare for the match as a trial game.
“I am trying to prepare like I always do. I am turning up and within the game plan doing my bit for the team. If it is carrying hard I am going to carry hard.”
Savea, who will join 12 other New Zealanders playing in the black and white hoops of the Baa-Baas, faces great competition for an All Blacks starting position at wing but insists he is “excited about the challenge” of facing Hansen’s side.
“It is a little bit strange but very excited about the challenge and very excited to be a part of this club. It’s pretty special. I am here to experience the Baa-Baas way of playing and excited to play against New Zealand.”
“I believe the door is always going to be there as long as I can play the best I can. Whatever happens, happens. I am just focused on this weekend and preparing well with the Baa-Baas.”
Barbarians vs New Zealand
November 4, 2017, 2:30pm
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