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Savea Confirms his Favourite Between Super Rugby and Top 14

Julian Savea has had a mixed couple of seasons since leaving the Hurricanes and he has now confirmed which competition he prefers between Super Rugby and the Top 14 and why

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(Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

Toulon star Julian Savea has admitted which competition he prefers between Super Rugby and the Top 14 while being interviewed by Toulon’s website.

The former All Blacks ace, who managed to score 46 tries in just 54 international appearances, played for the Hurricanes for eight seasons before his move to Toulon, confirmed that the former competition would be his preference due to the season length. 

“I’d go Super Rugby, just because it’s a smaller competition. The Top 14’s definitely a long season, and the shorter the better. When pressed further on his stance, Savea replied: [It’s] a little bit different, just because now you have to maintain all your players because it’s a longer season, and just making sure that everyone’s always ready to play. In Super Rugby, you don’t have to count for that many injuries because the season’s short,” he said. 

It comes as little surprise that Savea would choose Super Rugby having managed to make 116 appearances for the Canes scoring 45 tries along the way and helping them to their first title in 2016. 

However, his reasoning for choosing the competition is unusual considering he has suffered a tough time since his move to France. His relationship with recently departed owner Mourad Boudjellal caught the headlines for the wrong reasons, with the owner appearing to try to push Savea out of the club last season. 

Although both Savea and his current club are experiencing better fortunes this season with the club now sitting third in the table and firmly within the play-off places thanks to a 43-3 win over Castres yesterday. 

Savea’s point about player welfare and keeping them fit during the long season rang through in that game with the winger missing out due to illness as they reached the halfway-point. 

Next up for Toulon and Savea is a Champions Cup clash with the Scarlets in Wales, before a game against Bayonne to finish off the pool stages as they look to progress to the knock-out stages. 

While next up in the Top 14 is a clash against second-placed Lyon on January 25th, but while his short-term future clearly lies in France, Savea’s comments raise the possibility of a future return to Super Rugby.

International

All Blacks Ace Signs New Contract

The All Blacks have secured the services of one of their top stars for the foreseeable future after he agreed a new deal

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(Photo credit MARTY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty Images)

All Blacks back-liner Sevu Reece has signed a contract extension with New Zealand Rugby and the Crusaders it has been confirmed.

The 22-year-old has agreed a contract extension until 2022 after he had a breakthrough last season, after being initially brought in by the Crusaders as a back-up before becoming a key member of the squad and being handed a full-time contract. 

He went on to finish as the top try-scorer in last year’s Super Rugby campaign as he notched up 15 tries and he said that the decision to extend was a no brainer. 

“2019 was a surreal season for me with the Crusaders and All Blacks, so it was an easy decision to extend my time with the Crusaders club and continue to push for higher honours. I’m loving my rugby at the moment and have had the opportunity to work with some amazing players and coaches, who have inspired me on and off the field. I’m really looking forward to what the 2020 season has in store,” he said. 

With the help of Reece the Crusaders managed to secure a third successive Super Rugby title and head coach Scott Robertson is looking forward to having him on board for a bit longer. 

“Sevu is a special player, and we’re excited that he’s extended his time with the Crusaders and New Zealand Rugby. He was our 2019 Rookie of the Year, who slotted into our environment seamlessly and took Super Rugby by storm with an outstanding debut season. I’m excited to work with him again this season and watch him go from strength to strength,” he said. 

Reece’s form for the franchise led to a call-up to the All Blacks and he has gone on to win a total of seven caps for the Kiwis, scoring four tries to date and being included in their Rugby World Cup squad last year. 

It is a big boost for both the national side and his franchise as they look to compete for further honours in the coming years, but first up for Reece and the Crusaders is a visit to face the Chiefs in round two of this year’s Super Rugby as they attempt to make it four titles in a row.

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International

Rugby Australia Want Rugby League Youngster

Rugby Australia are looking into the possibility of tempting one of Rugby League’s hottest prospects to come to Rugby Union

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(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Rugby Australia are attempting to persuade Rugby League youngster Joseph Suaalii to switch codes following talks with incoming Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie.

The 16-year-old currently plays Rugby League for the South Sydney Rabbitohs and is contracted to the side until 2021, but following a series of impressive displays Rugby Australia are set to enter a bidding war for his services. 

Rennie was in Australia to fulfill media duties last week for the first time since being announced as head coach. 

The current Glasgow Warriors head coach visited all four Super Rugby franchises during his trip, but it is understood that he also held talks with Suaalii following recommendation from Rugby Australia director of rugby Scott Johnson. 

It is believed that he is the only player that is not a Wallaby already or Super Rugby player that Rennie visited for talks. 

The NRL club are thought to be trying to upgrade and extend the youngsters contract already in order to fend off any approaches from Rugby Australia. 

However, it is understood that Rennie and Rugby Australia are using the possibility of a spot in the Wallabies’ 2023 Rugby World Cup squad as a bonus to Suaalii if he were to sign with them according to reports. 

The South Sydney Rabbitohs will be all too aware that last year Rugby Australia managed to pry away another Rugby League prospect in Suliasi Vunivalu who has agreed to sign the Reds come next season, showing the temptation to switch codes.

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Super Rugby

Blues Confirm Trio of Injuries

The Blues have confirmed that three of their players will be out of action in the coming weeks due to injury

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(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Super Rugby side the Blues have confirmed that three of their players picked up serious injuries during their 37-29 loss to the Chiefs over the weekend.

In what was their opening game of the new season things could hardly have turned out worse for the New Zealand-based franchise as they not only lost the game but have now lost star back Rieko Ioane, hooker Ray Niuia and prop Alex Hodgman for the foreseeable future. 

Ioane is the biggest loss to the team having starred during their defeat as he scored two tries at Eden Park, but he has fractured his hand and will now miss “several weeks” of action in what is a major blow. 

Meanwhile, things are even worse for Niuia who has sustained a knee injury that has ruled him out of the remainder of the season after just one game. While Hodgman is out following a calf tear during the game. 

In some more positive news for the franchise veteran hooker James Parsons could return from his own injury lay-off this week as well as Otere Black, with the duo hopeful of returning to action to help ease the injury-hit team. 

However, it is a huge loss to the team, but they will hope that they can manage to pull things together despite the set-backs when they face the Waratahs this weekend as they search for their first win of the campaign.

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