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Ardie Savea scores a brace as local club benefits from world class talent

BY Jack Tunney  ·  Monday Jun 24, 2024

Following in the footsteps of international teammate Beauden Barrett, Ardie Savea has been back on the grassroots pitch with his old team, Oriental-Rongotai RFC.

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Making the most of his time away from the professional game, Savea was filmed enjoying a sausage roll after helping his team to a 90-7 win over Wellington at Hataitai Park.

The All Black back-rower found himself on the scoresheet twice as he stretched out his body ahead of the summer internationals, and to add to the credit of the man reports have suggested that he even left £500 behind the bar after the match.

“To come down here and play the Axemen, some of the boys I grew up with too, it’s a real honour,” Savea said speaking to Stuff afterwards.

It’s nice to come down and see the kids, and eat a sausage after the game. It’s what footy is all about.

“My lungs after the first 10 minutes, I didn’t know if I could handle it. It’s good though. I just wanted to get some contact in and get the body moving and the lungs going.”

This was Savea’s first rugby match in New Zealand since returning from a sabbatical with Japanese club Kobelco Kobe Steelers over the past year.

The current World Men’s 15s Player of the Year has been announced in the All Black squad for their summer matches against England and Japan, with new captain Scott Barrett complimenting the experience and leadership skills that Savea adds to the squad.

When you think of the leaders who have gone before you, it’s quite humbling to be asked to captain the All Blacks, so it’s not something I took lightly.

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“It’s a big responsibility, but I have two great leaders beside me in Ardie and Jordie, and I know we’ll have the full backing of the coaches.”

Watch the exclusive reveal-all episode of Walk the Talk with Ardie Savea as he chats to Jim Hamilton about the RWC 2023 experience, life in Japan, playing for the All Blacks and what the future holds. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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