Ardie Savea continues to be regarded as one of the best openside flankers in world rugby.
The younger brother of former All Blacks winger and current Wellington Lion Julian, made his Super Rugby debut for the Hurricanes in 2013, then played for New Zealand Under 20 and later that year toured with the All Blacks on their Northern Tour as a non-playing apprentice. He finished the year winning the New Zealand Age Grade award.
His leadership potential had been apparent for some time – he was head boy at Rongotai College, captained his First XV side, the New Zealand Schools side, and his Wellington provincial side.
An automatic first choice for the Hurricanes, being named as captain of the Hurricanes in 2021, Savea has also become an established member of All Blacks squad, recently named as skipper for the Bledisloe Cup clash with Australia.
Savea has a number of strengths to his game, including his ability to get over the advantage line with ball in hand while he is also one of the toughest men to combat at the breakdown.
His ability to read the game and turn up in support are also two of his great assets while he has now scored 21 tries in his Hurricanes career. Two of those tries were against the Highlanders in 2019, a performance labelled one of the best in Super Rugby history.