'The Bus' Julian Savea pulls into Wellington looking for long-term stay
WELLINGTON - Former All Blacks winger Julian Savea reported for his first day of training with the Hurricanes on Monday, keenly aware the next few weeks will decide the direction of his professional career.
Savea, nicknamed “The Bus”, left the Hurricanes in 2018 to join Toulon on a two-year contract but cut his stay in France short earlier this year when the French Top 14 league was cancelled due to the novel coronavirus.
The 29-year-old joined the Hurricanes for their final two games in Super Rugby Aotearoa, and he said on Monday he knew he needed to impress in training and then in the domestic provincial championship to secure a longer-term contract.
"My mentality is just put my best foot forward and just show the coaches what I've still got and see what happens," Savea told reporters at the team's training base. "I'm pretty keen to stay here but I'm open to anything, so we'll see what happens."
Savea has not played any rugby since March. He said while he had kept fit and felt he could play the Chiefs in Super Rugby Aotearoa on Saturday, it was more likely he would get match fit through club rugby in Wellington.
"If I don't get to play for the Hurricanes I'll definitely be able to play some club footy," he said. "I'm pretty keen to get stuck into things."
Still, Savea is in negotiations with Wellington to play in New Zealand's provincial championship, which starts next month.
"I wasn't really expecting to play any Super Rugby this year or be a part of the team this year," he said.
"I was sort of just getting ready to prepare myself for (the provincial championship).
"But this holds a special place in my heart, this club ... and we're definitely keen to stay in New Zealand."