NZ Rugby World
26, had a year blighted by injuries but still managed to start five tests at centre and one at second five. Interestingly the Almanack editors have him there in their team of the year. Like the other two, he needs more size, but he has great skills, is a good defender and has plenty of experience. His versatility means he’s always going to make the squad, but he may struggle to get consistent starts.
In his pomp, Julian Savea was a magnificent All Blacks wing with his size, power and pace more than a handful for most would-be tacklers. He wants to play second five and if he can master the job description, his size, power and pace should make him tough to stop there again. Working against Savea is his age, he’s 31, and that the Hurricanes see him as a wing, rather than a midfielder. That will have to change. He needs games, and lots of them, to get noticed and to impress the selectors.