“I know there are people out there saying he’s past it, but I don’t think they’re watching.”
Former All Blacks hooker James Parsons has argued that Julian Savea must be considered for New Zealand this year, despite having last played test rugby in 2017.
Savea scored an incredible 46 tries for New Zealand in 54 test matches but last played for the All Blacks in the third test of the series with the British and Irish Lions almost four years ago.
The winger left New Zealand in 2018 to join Toulon in the Top 14, having fallen out of favour with the All Blacks, in a move that looked likely to end his international career.
Felt amazing to be back in my @Hurricanesrugby jersey for the first time in two years…but what made it more special was playing along side @ardiesavea for his 100th game and first game as our captain ❤️ #momentstocherish #proudbrother pic.twitter.com/K7SxtMJ99q
— Julian Savea (@juliansavea7) March 3, 2021
‘Savea is playing some great footy.’
However, the 30-year-old is back playing with the Hurricanes in Super Rugby Aotearoa, leading Parsons to tell the Aotearoa Rugby podcast that he believes Savea should be considered for the All Blacks in 2021.
“I know Julian’s come back, but you have to consider him. I know there are people out there saying he’s past it, but I don’t think they’re watching. Just watch him,” Parsons said, via RugbyPass.
“I think Julian’s playing some great footy and he has to stay in the No. 11, personally for me.
“Reason being because of his kick-chase efforts, his aerial skills around not only the box kick, but, as we saw for [Peter] Umaga-Jensen’s try, it shows the physical condition he’s in, the way he’s getting up in the air and winning that air battle.
“Not only for that try, but a lot of those box kicks and getting that ball back, and then just his work off the ball and finding touches, and then direct carries off set piece, we know he’s so good at.
“He’s always getting that gain line carry and he’s doing the work around there. You can only get the ball that you’re delivered and, for me, both games he’s shown plenty.”
Savea has started in both of the Hurricanes’ 2021 Super Rugby Aotearoa matches so far, and while he hasn’t scored any tries yet, he has looked dangerous on the win for the Wellington-based side.
Overall however, the Hurricanes have disappointed, as they have failed to secure even a losing bonus-point against either the Crusaders or Blues and are currently rooted to the bottom of the table.