‘100 per cent I want to play rugby league’: All Blacks star eyeing sensational NRL switch

In a remarkable admission that will send shockwaves throughout New Zealand Rugby, All Blacks star Ardie Savea says he’s considering a move to the NRL.

But in news that will go down like a lead balloon at the Warriors, it’s not the sole New Zealand club he wants to join.

No, Savea says he wants to go to a team that stands a chance of winning.

“Strategically I would want to go to a team that was dominating, like the [Melbourne] Storm or [Sydney] Roosters,” Savea told the Ice Project podcast in conversation with former Warrior Isaac John.

The 44-Test Hurricanes star is contracted with New Zealand Rugby until the end of 2021, but said he was “low-key thinking about it for next year”.

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Sonny Bill Williams celebrates winning the NRL title in 2013.Source:News Limited

Savea said that dual international Sonny Bill Williams, who won a title at the Canterbury Bulldogs before sensationally switching codes to rugby, had served as inspiration behind the potential move.

“100 per cent I want to play rugby league, I think they do a lot more in terms of off the field stuff… and also, just a new challenge. I want to test myself,” Savea said.

“Learning a whole new game and seeing if I can dominate or, play the way I play in union, that excites me.

“Seeing guys like Sonny do it kind of plays on my mind a bit.”

Ardie Savea has been inspired by Sonny Bill Williams’ career path through the NRL.Source:Getty Images

Williams won two World Cups with the All Blacks and played in a third campaign.

After winning a Super Rugby title with the Chiefs in 2012, Williams returned to rugby league and won his second NRL premiership with the Roosters.

He then returned to the XV-man game in 2015.

Savea was nominated for World Rugby Player of the Year in 2019.

He missed out on the top gong to Springbok Pieter-Steph du Toit, but the All Blacks loose-forward cleaned up at the New Zealand awards.

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Super Rugby: Ben Te’o received a yellow card on his return to Brisbane for not properly wrapping his arms in the tackle.

The 26-year-old won Super Rugby player of the year, All Blacks player of the year and the Kelvin R Tremain Memorial overall player of the year.

Savea scored for the All Blacks in their World Cup semi-final loss to England in Japan.

But he hasn’t played for the Hurricanes since undergoing knee-surgery following the World Cup.

He is expected to return in the coming weeks.


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Originally published as‘100 per cent I want to play rugby league’: All Blacks star eyeing sensational NRL switch

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