Savea up for the challenge as Hurricanes skipper

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Just being part of the Hurricanes was special enough, he said.

 

Leading the side, for which he will play his 100th game when it takes the field for its opening game against the Blues on February 27, Savea, 27, was a new challenge.

 

He said being asked to accept the captaincy was an honour he would always treasure and he would look to lead by doing the best that he could as a player and a leader.

 

When he was approached to consider the role, he said he knew deep down that it was time to step up, to challenge himself and to get out of his comfort zone by trying something he wasn't used to. He didn't need a lot of time to say 'Yes'.

 

There was also some good-natured banter with old brother Julian who he told had to listen to him now.

 

 

But he was looking forward to having his wing brother back in the side because he was in good shape and happy with where he was at.

 

"It's just about being myself, being Ardie. I'm also looking to learn and always grow," he said.

 

There was a responsibility to step up after the loss of the sort of experience that halfback TJ Perenara and first five-eighths Beauden Barrett gave the side, but he said whenever that sort of thing happened it provided opportunities for others to step up and take the chance.

 

"For me, and this franchise and the leadership group, even though we've lost some quality players, it's given the opportunity for other potentially great players to come in and become great Hurricanes.

 

"Even though we've lost the brothers we've got new brothers, and it is about bringing the best out of them, making them feel confident, being themselves and expressing themselves," he said.

 

Asked what was going to be his biggest challenge he said the new captain's challenge.

 

But he said the real challenge was keeping the body and mind right in the tough environment that Super Rugby Aotearoa was.

 

"If that's ok I feel like rugby will take care of itself," he said.

 

Playing under Perenara and hooker Dane Coles he knew they led by their actions and that would be what he continued to do.

 

"That's what I like to do, lead by actions. I'm not a man of many words," he said.

 

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