Sportal.co.nz 11.Oct.2012Getty Images
Fresh out of Rongotai College and just keen to impress Lions coach Chris Boyd, the 18-year-old never expected to be joining older brother Julian in the Hurricanes ranks so quickly.
But the younger Savea's form for Wellington in his debut season has been so eye-catching at No.8 and openside flanker that Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett hasn't been able to ignore it and the Wellington teenager has been signed up for two years.
"I'm really excited. It's quite unreal. I didn't think any of this would happen so fast. I'm just happy to have got this opportunity," said Savea, who has also starred for New Zealand on the sevens world circuit.
"A couple of weeks ago [Hammett] called me into his office and wanted to chat to me about stuff and that's where it started.
"When I made ITM Cup my focus was just to find my feet at that level. Super 15, it's quite unreal."
Savea still lives at home with his mum and dad, who were the first to be told his good news. Julian was told at a family dinner on Tuesday night after returning from his All Blacks duties in Argentina and South Africa.
"They are really happy. They were the first ones to know. As soon as I got told I went home and told mum and dad. I let some close friends know and that was about it until today," he added.
"[Julian] was happy and said he would see me practically every day next year. It's quite cool."
Savea is aware there is a big step up from taking on the brightest young talent in New Zealand to mixing it with the big, powerful men of South Africa, New Zealand and Australia on a weekly basis.
Boyd and Lions forwards coach Richard Watt have managed his workload well during the ITM Cup but even so the takeaways he enjoys look set to be ditched for the lean red meat, rice, pasta and protein shakes as Savea looks to add some size to his frame before Super Rugby kicks off next year.
"Physically I need to be up there because Super 15 is a whole new level to ITM Cup," he said. "I guess I have this window to physically get up there because the physicality I think for me will be a big challenge."