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Ardie Savea to get his first All Blacks taste

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James Mortimer     20 Oct 2013     Getty Images

So far it has served to give up and coming hookers a taste of the All Blacks environment, but Ardie will be the first inclusion outside of the number two club, included after the 20-year-old having caught the attention of selectors earlier this year.

Some might suggest that the impressive Hurricanes and Lions loose forward is ready for the step up, but that philosophy isn’t often used by the Test coaches if they can avoid it.

Wary of players who explode onto the scene as the flanker has this season, he still only has one Investec Super Rugby season behind him, and while head coach Steve Hansen believes one day he could be ready – now was the time to simply take it all in.

"He is not being named as an All Black," Hansen said.

"He will travel with us and clearly if we had an injury at number seven he would be available to play for us but he's more primarily joining us because we want to introduce him to the way of the All Black life.

"With Matty Todd injured we have got an opportunity to bring in a young player.

"Ardie is a player we think is destined to be an All Black at some stage if he continues to improve and grow his game. We felt giving him this opportunity would enhance this."

Matt Todd suffered a torn pectoral muscle and had surgery late September, ruling him out till next season.

The Crusaders flanker had twice been named on the All Blacks bench this year against France and South Africa.