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Friday Mar 27, 2015

Julian Savea continues to draw comparisons to the great Jonah Lomu

Julian Savea continues to draw comparisons to the great Jonah Lomu

For a powerful, fast, skilful and all round effective winger, look no further than Hurricanes and New Zealand star Julian Savea. Now an established Test player, the man-mountain is revelling on the world stage, having amassed a phenomenal 30 tries in only 30 tests.

But where did the unstoppable colossus come from?

In 2008 Savea was selected for the New Zealand secondary schools team and also became part of the Hurricanes academy. Initially the titan Kiwi was more celebrated for his pace and rapid ability to change direction, skills which afforded him a call up for the national sevens squad for the 2009 Adelaide Sevens.

His feats were not unnoticed and in 2010 he subsequently went on to score 8 tries for the New Zealand U-20 team in the 2010 IRB Junior World Cup, helping his country retain the title for the third successive competition.

Unsurprisingly Savea continued up the ranks, receiving his first full test cap against Ireland in 2012.

As far as dream starts go, the 22 year old debutant was in paradise. A consummate performance across the park, capped off with a hat-trick of tries, and Julian Savea was on the tongue of every rugby fan and critic around the world.
Away from the All Blacks, his domestic career for the Hurricanes is gaining momentum. Since his international recognition, Savea’s lust for club success has not diminished.

In 2013 he was a man possessed against the Crusaders, with a powerful tackle on the equally titanic Robbie Fruean and twice bouncing off Israel Dagg, if anyone had any doubts about Savea’s talents, they couldn’t anymore.

Such performances welcome the inevitable comparison with New Zealand legend, Jonah Lomu. Of course, there can never be another Lomu, but there most certainly are distinct similarities between the two; both powerful runners, formidable defenders, and big-match winners.

Savea enters his first Rugby World Cup with the eyes of the world and the weight of a nation upon him. As the Kiwis attempt to become the first country to ever retain the Webb Ellis cup, Savea’s role in the production cannot be under-played.

An electric player, daunting tackler and a try-scoring machine, the ultimate stage, along with the ultimate prize, invites Mr Savea to show just what he can do – and we can’t wait.

Is it fair to compare Savea with Lomu? Who would you rather have in your team?


  • bunn
    4:23 PM 03/04/2015

    Savea is a great player who has higher skill levels than Lomu. However, Lomu was bigger and faster, as well as never being fully fit because of illness. Lomu was like having a mixture of Billy Vunipola and Folau on the wing. If Lomu wasn't as quick he would have been a number 8, if he wasn't as big he still could have played wing. I like Savea, but he's not Lomu

  • drg
    6:26 PM 27/03/2015

    I think people might be selling Lomu short a little bit in the above comments. Lomu developed to be the player he was because of 2 reasons: 1. His natural ability and size. 2. The players he was playing against. Savea has the same 2 'things'... Nothing can be guaranteed, but I think had Lomu and Savea arrived on the scene at the same time, either now, or in the past, I think they'd both evolve their style and game to compete against the athletes in front of them. You're not likely to develop laser guided missile skills if you're playing against wooden sticks... So who would I like on my team? Both... Lomu 11, Savea 14 :)

  • finedisregard
    2:26 PM 27/03/2015

    Savea has more tools in the shed. Lomu played in a time where rugby players were still built like normal human beings and he was the lone exception.

  • jimmy23
    1:45 PM 27/03/2015

    The thing is, the players Lomu came up against are physically nothing like the players Savea comes up against today. Players these days are bigger, more powerful and are arguably more developed in every aspect of the game, yet Savea still makes mince meat out of a lot of them. It's hard to say as to whether Lomu would have the same impact today as he did back then. I guess you could with how coaching has evolved over the years that he would have also developed accordingly.

  • stroudos
    1:29 PM 27/03/2015

    For Christ's sake shave that moustache off Julian.

  • welshosprey
    11:00 AM 27/03/2015

    Joe Rokocoko had almost exactly the same stats. I can't see Savea getting more than 50 caps, New Zealand go through wingers too quickly.


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