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Julian Savea Named In Barbarians Squad For New Zealand And Tonga Clashes

Julian Savea is to line up against his home nation, New Zealand, after being named in the Barbarians squad in their UK tour in early November. 

Savea, 27, has not lined up for New Zealand since the deciding draw between the All Blacks and Lions in July. 

After being omitted from the Rugby Championship squad, this confirms that he will not feature for New Zealand in the autumn internationals, unless he is called in as injury cover after his games for the Barbarians.


 

Savea became the fastest tier one player to score 40 tries in his 44th match, overtaking former All Black wing Joe Rokocoko’s record of 40 tries from 46 tests.

But after a disappointing start to the Super Rugby season and poor form the previous year, he was displaced in the starting team by Rieko Ioane.

He was then was unexpectedly dropped from the All Blacks squad for the Rugby Championship with Ioane, Naholo and Hurricanes team-mate Nehe Milner-Skudder recovering from injury and illness to leave the 17-stone winger surplus to requirements. 

It has been a sharp fall from grace from the 2015 Rugby World Cup’s top try scorer, who was also nominated for World Rugby Player of the Year and took home the coveted Try of the Year award that season. 

His disappointing form in the last two years has meant he has fallen behind Naholo and Milner-Skudder in the pecking order, only appearing when the wingers have been injured. 

With the rise of Ioane, his place in the All Blacks squad has gone. He will hope that he can prove a point as he lines up opposite the Haka for the first time in his career. 

The Barbarians play New Zealand at Twickenham in the Killik Cup (November 4) before facing Tonga at Thomond Park (November 10). 

Nick Powell, Pundit Arena 

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Author: The PA Team

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