Savea Advocates for Reforms in All Blacks’ Selection Criteria

Savea Advocates for Reforms in All Blacks' Selection Criteria

Savea Advocates for Reforms in All Blacks’ Selection Criteria

BollywoodFever, March 30: Ardie Savea, the All Blacks’ standout forward, has urged New Zealand’s rugby officials to rethink the national team’s selection policy amidst the evolving landscape of international rugby. 

Currently, Savea is ineligible for All Blacks selection due to his move to the Kobe Steelers in Japan’s Rugby League One in December, a move that excludes him under the existing policy that limits selection to players based domestically.

Savea Advocates for Reforms in All Blacks' Selection Criteria

Despite being named World Rugby’s Player of the Year, Savea has voiced a strong opinion that New Zealand Rugby should reevaluate its stance on only selecting players who are based within the country. 

“Times are changing,” Savea highlighted in an interview with New Zealand media. “Things are moving fast. What worked five, 10, 15 years ago maybe can’t work now. We’ve just got to be innovative and smart around what we’re doing. 

The country that’s proven that it works, that it helps, is South Africa. The majority of their team’s playing (offshore) and they come together and win the World Cup. I don’t think it’s going to change drastically, but I just think that something needs to evolve and grow.”

He pointed to the success of South Africa, noting many players from their squad that secured consecutive Rugby World Cup victories last year are based overseas, including Faf de Klerk, Pieter-Steph du Toit, and Cheslin Kolbe, who, like Savea, play in Japan.

Savea isn’t alone in his overseas venture; notable New Zealand players such as Brodie Retallick and Richie Mo’unga have also signed contracts with clubs in the Japan Rugby League One.

While New Zealand’s eligibility criteria mirror those of other nations, Savea believes the international club scene offers invaluable experience.

“I think that’s the best thing about being out of New Zealand – I’m playing against guys from South Africa, Pacific Island boys that are from Tonga, Samoa – the Japanese brothers, Aussie brothers,” he explained. “I’m playing against a different variety of players, different styles, which has been refreshing and awesome. Where in New Zealand, you’re just playing against the New Zealand teams and Aussie teams.”

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